Latest by Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

What Do the Symptoms of STDs Look Like?

The following are the some of the symptoms of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, scabies and herpes. Since symptoms can vary from person to person, and since these symptoms can resemble the symptoms of many other illnesses, you CANNOT dia...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Frequently Asked Questions About AIDS (II)

What are the symptoms of AIDS? How long do I have to wait until I get tested for HIV? What is the approximate timeline of testing and symptoms for HIV/AIDS? When taking an antibody test, what does a negative, positive or indeterminate test re...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Why Is There So Much Conflicting HIV/AIDS Information? Who Can You Believe?

Having worked in the HIV/AIDS field for many years now, this is one of the most common questions that people ask me. Why is it that a person can ask one question, and get totally different answers from different sources? I myself have called various ...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

What Are Opportunistic Diseases?

Opportunistic diseases are actually an entire group of diseases. By definition, an opportunistic disease is a disease that will most often make you sick given the "opportunity" of a damaged or weakened immune system (weakened because of AIDS, various...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Frequently Asked Questions (I)

What exactly is AIDS? Definition of AIDS Which body fluids can transmit the HIV virus, and which ones don't? How is HIV transmitted? Criteria for HIV transmission Can you get HIV through oral sex? What are the risks from fingering someo...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

How Do You Talk To Your Partners About HIV and STDs?

There is no easy answer concerning how to talk to a partner about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Although many people find it easy to have sex, they find it extremely difficult to talk about it. So how does one begin?

The dynamic...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Are You a "Worried Well" Person?

Many people are fearful that they have HIV, even though they are either at very low risk of infection, or have tested negative for HIV. The common term informally used to describe people in this situation is "worried well." This term generally refers...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Is HIV the Only Incurable Sexually Transmitted Disease?

A lot of people think that if they (and their sexual partners) have tested negative for HIV, they no longer need to use condoms. Many people forget that HIV tests do not immediately detect an infection. In addition, many people think that HIV/AIDS is...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Separating Myths From Facts

There's still a lot of misinformation about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Myth: The Top Partner During Vaginal and Anal Sex Is at Low Risk for HIV.

Fact: In reality, the top partner (the inserting partner) is at high risk of in...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.

Taking Unnecessary HIV Monitoring Tests: A Waste of Valuable Resources

Whenever we do tests for any illness, they should only be done when there is a true clinical need for those tests, rather than ordering them just because someone wants it.

In my years of experience working in this field, I have found that the vast m...

By Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.