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risk of infection. A particular case
Sep 2, 2011

dear Dr.

I am a doctor, 25 and HIV positive. Asymptomatic, and treatment. I wrote a few days ago, asking whether it is appropriate that I make a medical specialty such as Internal Medicine. Or if there is a risk of infecting my patients, or whether they can infect me. Or specialty is an adverse condition of my immune status, by the demands which represents the medical residency. I think that it is unwise to make a specialty now, newly diagnosed, but would like your advice for a future plan. Please doctor, advise me.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

You report you are asymptomatic and on treatment, but you didn't mention your CD4 count/CD4%. If your counts are good and your antiretroviral therapy is well tolerated and has driven your HIV plasma viral load to low or undetectable levels, I see no reason you shouldn't follow your dreams and become whatever type of physician specialist you desire. Internal medicine is primarily a cognitive specialty (not a lot of procedures) and would not put either you or your patients at risk. Nearly all fields of medicine can have fairly demanding residencies. Don't let that deter you. I'm quite hopeful that by the time you finish internship, residency and perhaps a fellowship and get established in the "real world," a cure for HIV/AIDS will be within our grasp. Don't let HIV spoil your dreams or your fun!

Dr. Bob



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