Friday, January 16, 2009

Tidbits - "Don't kiss her she has cooties!"

As many of you probably know, I live with a doctor. He often likes to randomly quote ridiculous medical statistics and bits of knowledge, most of which I suspect to be completely fabricated in attempts to scare his children into being good little boys and girls. The many beliefs I have acquired during my time in the household include: a) Almost all my medical illnesses are either caused by drinking, smoking, or staying up too late, and b) Almost all medical illnesses can be cured by drinking lots of water and eating oranges.

Anyways, onto the topic at hand. Do you guys remember the times when we were young and had just learned about stuff like STD's and other diseases? We were so paranoid about "catching" stuff from other people by kissing and what not. Well, last night one of my family's dinner conversations went like this:

Daniel (my 13 yr old brother): "Did you know you can get AIDS by kissing someone"

Me (in my own head): "wtf..."

My Dad: "Oh really, how so?"

Daniel: "If they have a cut in their mouth"

Me (again in my own head): "wtf..."

My Dad: "Even if I directly injected your arm with a drop of pure HIV virus, the chances of you getting HIV is about 4 in 1,000"

Me (in my own head): "sweeeet" [then walk to room having survived another family dinner, and yet again gained a bit of medical knowledge that I still have no idea to be true or not]

Anyways, so yea I thought that'd be interesting to share with the bunch of friends I have in Med school. Considering the AIDS crisis going on in Africa, if those facts were actually true, something must be going seriously wrong over there...any thoughts?


  1. oranges cure all disease - thats just science.

    And you left out the part where your dad went "JON DON'T GET ANY IDEAS AIDS IS STILL A SERIOUS ISSUE"

  2. Just fyi, it is true. If you get needlestuck with HIV virus, the odds of acquiring the disease is less than 1% (significantly higher for certain types of hepatitis).

    Though, it still wouldn't be a great idea to experiment on yourself. If you think about all the people in Africa, the unsanitary conditions, and the number of times they have unprotected sex, it's not surprising that the disease is prevalent.

    Oh, also there has been a breakthrough in the fight against HIV. Recently there was a bone marrow transplant from someone who is HIV-resistant (a certain mutation in a cell surface receptor gives some ppl immunity) to an infected individual curing him. The hope is that using zinc nucleases, they could do this to people's own cells since transplants carry significant risks.

  3. I would opt for the dress... but I'm a girl. So I guess this question really doesn't apply to me. But to make you happy, I decided to post a comment anyway.

  4. You have a brother who is 13...?