Out with the old in with the new. Does that mean STD'S go away too?
Finding out you have an STD might lead you to panic. You might think the worst and think, "I cannot come back from this!" which isn’t true. You can live a healthy life even if you are infected with an STD that doesn't go away, and before you begin to think that far down the line, you should know that many of the most common STDs can be cured with antibiotics.
STDs that are cured with antibiotics
Chlamydia - a bacterial infection usually found in a woman’s cervix or the urethra in both men and women.
- Treatment: Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. Abstain from sex for 7 days (from your partner or anyone) until the antibiotics have done their work. If you do end up having sex while the antibiotics are still working it is really important to use a condom or else it is likely the medicine you took won’t work.
Gonorrhea - a bacterial infection that usually infects the penis or vagina; but can also infect the rectum, throat or eyes.
- Treatment: Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics are given in the form of a shot and pills...you need to take the pills at the same time you get the shot.
Syphilis - a bacterial infection, that starts by causing painless sores (called chancres) or rashes on the skin, but over time it can become much more serious.
Remember, you can get these infections MORE THAN ONCE. Make sure you and your partner and both treated and tested regularly.
- Treatment: Syphilis can be cured by an antibiotic shot from a health care provider.
STDS that can't be cured, but can be treated
HPV - the virus that causes genital warts and abnormal pap smears, is the most common STD in the US.
- Treatment: Most of the time, HPV goes away on its own.The warts may go away on their own, too. If they do not go away, or they are bothering you, your doctor can remove the warts. There are also some medicines that you can use at home that cause the warts to go away. The best way to avoid genital warts and other types of HPV is to get the HPV vaccine.
HIV - is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV attacks the white blood cells, which makes it hard for a person’s body to fight off infections.
- Treatment: HIV cannot be cured. There are some medicines that can slow down the progress of HIV for a long time, but the virus is still in the body. Learn more here.
Herpes - is an infection caused by a virus, either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2.) Although most genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-2 and most oral herpes infections are caused by HSV-1, we now know that either virus, type 1 or type 2 can cause blisters or sores known as genital herpes.
- Treatment: Once you have herpes, you have the virus for the rest of your life. But there are medicines that help the sores heal more quickly and they can decrease your partners’ risk of contracting herpes from you if you take the medicine everyday. These medicines can also make the outbreaks less frequent and less uncomfortable.