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Together, have you and your partner been tested together for all STD's including HIV, TB and vaccinated for hepatitus B and A? The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Dec 31, 1996

Rick, have you and your partner been tested together for all sexually transmitted diseases including human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis and vaccinated for hepatitus B and A? What were both your test results? When were you both tested together? Have you been completely faithful with never ever whatsoever even a tiny exception of any kind? Has your partner said he or she has been completely faithful with never ever whatsoever even a tiny exception of any kind?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

My personal health status is a private matter. My HIV status, and other aspects of my personal health, are not relevant here. My health status does not have any bearing on my answers on this website. The answers remain the same, regardless of the state of my personal health.

However, what I can say is that I do actively protect myself against all STD's, and other infectious diseases as well. I have been vaccinated against both Hepatitis A and B, and I have also been vaccinated against other vaccine-preventable diseases. I am a very strong advocate of immunizations and preventive medicine.

My personal sex life is just that......personal. However, I will stress that I do what I realistically can to protect myself against all infectious diseases. When it comes to prevention, I am a strong advocate of the "C" word. No, the "C" word isn't Condom, it's Communication. Communication involves keeping up-to-date on the latest information on infectious diseases. It involves communicating with any potential and present partner about these and other infectious diseases.

I am also an advocate of potential and present sex partners being tested together for HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). I see this as a new ritual of dating in the 1990's, to prevent further spread of STD's. We must also remember that not all people are at risk for all communicable diseases. Not all people have put themselves at risk for HIV, STD's, TB, Hepatitis etc. etc. Testing is best used for people who have been at risk in the past. And vaccinations are best used for people at potential risk in the future. So not everyone is at risk for these diseases, therefore, not everyone needs to be tested. However, for persons who have been at risk in the past, testing is strongly recommended. Immunizations are strongly recommended for persons who are at potential future risk for a vaccine-preventable disease.

I personally have been tested for HIV, through my private physician, through the local health department, through a private AIDS Service Organization, and through home testing. I got tested all 4 ways to give myself a first-hand understanding of what the average person goes through when getting tested.

So in summary, my private sex life and health status are just that.....they're private. However, I do live in the real world, and do understand human weaknesses and mistakes. Safer sex, communicating with your sex partner, and HIV/STD testing are not always easy. I do live in the real world. We must all accept personal responsibility for our actions. I take full responsibility for the things that I do in my private life. And I also take full responsibility to protect myself against all communicable diseases. I hope this answered your questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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