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CP & HIV
Jan 11, 2006

Hi Dr Bob, I am consulting you because I feel I have nowhere else to turn. I am a 21 year old male who has cerebral palsy, albeit mild. I go to university, studying science but really want to do medicine. I have been told that I can't because I would not be able to do the practical side of medicine ie suturing, giving needles etc etc. I have the brains, compassion and drive but just not the dexterity. This depresses me enormously. I have inherited a lot of money from deceased relatives and so am quite rich.

I have seen and have had sex with probably close to 75 prostitutes in the last two years. I have never had unprotected sex. I have had what appear to be seroconversion symptoms. I see sex workers when I am depressed which is usually after I have asked a girl out and been rejected. Again this frustrates me greatly as I am reasonably good looking but the ataxia and uncoordinated movements tend to turn the girls off - at least thats what they say. My CP was the result of a difficult child birth.

I feel that if I keep on seeing prostitutes then eventually my luck will run out and I will contract HIV.

Do many men in the world see that many prostitutes and get away cleanly?

Thanks for your time.

David.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello David,

Having CP or any other physical ailment should not prevent you from having a satisfying career in medicine. There are many facets of medicine that do no require suturing or giving injections. For instance, I doubt most psychiatrists could sew a button on a shirt, let alone suture close a major abdominal surgery incision. Don't give up on your dreams. Rather, find more reasonable career counselors.

Regarding HIV risk, the number of partners is not the critical factor. Rather, proper safer sex practices would be the biggest determinate for possible acquisition of HIV. HIV can not pass through intact latex, no matter how many times it may try. A person who uses a condom improperly or has unprotected sex one time is at higher risk than someone having truly protected sex 100 times.

Stay safe and you'll stay well, David. I'll look for you on medical rounds in a few years, OK?

Dr. Bob



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