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Rick's Qualifications

Sep 16, 1996

Hi Rick, Like many other people I've received a great deal of helpful information from this Web site. I'm sure you won't mind if I ask what your qualifications are with respect to HIV/AIDS. Are you a medical doctor? What does "CDS MSPH" stand for? Thanks, keep up the good work.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

I am a Senior Communicable Disease Specialist (CDS) with the Nevada State Health Division. My specialty is AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). Among the many responsibilities I have is being the Coordinator of the Nevada AIDS Hotline, a service that provides both general and technical information about AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). We also provide referrals to local services related to HIV/AIDS.

As to my background, I first received a Bachelors Degree in Biology at the State University of New York at Albany. I then went on to receive my MSPH Degree (Masters of Science in Public Health) in Communicable Diseases/Medical Parasitology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), School of Public Health. I continued doing research at UNC-Chapel Hill for several years.

I later began working for the National AIDS Hotline, operated by the American Social Health Association, and the United States Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). I also spent several years doing Chemical Research at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

After working at these agencies, I moved to Nevada and got my position as a Communicable Disease Specialist. I received additional training in STD Epidemiology through the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). I had worked as a Disease Intervention Specialist, which included working in HIV/STD epidemiology. I have worked with all segments of the population, including high risk youth, inmates at the state's prison system, and legal prostitutes in Nevada's legal Brothels. In addition to all of this, I am a nationally certified Instructor Trainer in HIV/AIDS for the American Red Cross.

My present responsibilities include accessing technical information about AIDS and other diseases, and to oversee the operation of the Nevada AIDS Hotline. Our hotline provides services both through our toll free telephone number in the United States, and also on the Internet as well. This presently takes up a lot of my time. I still work closely with CDC and I keep up-to-date daily with all the latest AIDS and STD information. In addition to all of these services, I also facilitate HIV/AIDS Support Groups in our local area, and online through America Online (AOL). I also provide AIDS education outreach online through public AIDS information forums and Bulletin Boards.

If you ever want to know more about the work that I do, feel free to ask. I find the area of Public Health facinating, challenging, and enjoyable. And the need for AIDS related services is one which I find critical.

If you have further questions, please e-mail me at "" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS.

are we becoming complacent about aids?

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