If you are infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you must take the full course of treatment. Incomplete treatment will mean that the disease microorganism is still being harbored by you.
It also means that you become a potential candidate for STI complications the dangers of which can be serious and long-term.
You must abstain from sex until the treatment is complete and your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
Going for sex as soon as your symptoms disappear is not allowed because you could still be harboring the STD microorganism and be infectious. You can resume having sex one week after you have completed the full course of treatment.
Drugs in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
Each type of sexually transmitted disease has its own specific treatment. Besides advising local hygiene, this treatment broadly consists of:
A specific antibiotic or a combination of antibiotics is often given in a single dose or in divided doses either orally or through injection. Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are treated with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are often treated with antibiotics effective against both because though there may not be symptoms of either one, they often coexist together.
There is no cure for genital herpes because it is a viral infection. However, anti-viral drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valacyclovir are prescribed and should be started immediately, within six hours of the onset of the infection. Starting Famvir late reduces its effectiveness. Oral therapy or injections are useful in controlling the severity of the herpes infection.
Genital warts caused by Human Papillomavirus are removed by local application or laser which burns warts. Even otherwise they disappear without treatment. But, the virus stays within you and you can infect others.
HIV/AIDS also cannot be cured. It is fatal but with advances in medical research, life expectancy has increased with combination antiretroviral therapy. HIV patients can live up to 60 to 70 years but the life expectancy will depend on a number of things.
- How early HIV was diagnosed?
- Whether you smoke
- Whether you drink alcohol
- Whether you are on drugs
- And whether you have any disorders that weaken your immune system.
Genital candidiasis is treated with fluconazole, an anti-fungal drug, and local anti-fungal creams and suppositories to insert into the vagina. Both partners should be treated at the same time.
Trichomoniasis is treated with oral metronidazole or tinadazole. Infected pregnant women in their first trimester are not prescribed these drugs due to their adverse effects on the fetus. The treatment is given in the second or third trimester. Both partners should be treated at the same time.
If you have STD, it is important to notify your partner and insist on him or her getting treated. If the partner does not have any symptoms, he or she should go for STD screening and follow the doctor’s advice for complete treatment. Check out the STD stats to know how widespread this disease is.
Sexually transmitted diseases prevention
This by far is the most important point to be observed after having gained knowledge about STDs.
The young should observe prevention methods and the elderly should imbibe these into the minds of their ignorant young.
The effects of STDs and their statistics have been explained and their impact should be spread to bring awareness. Those who have STDs should see to it that they do not infect another person and spread the disease.
Tips to prevent STD transmission
- Though many would advise abstaining from sex to prevent getting sexually transmitted diseases, this advice may not sound practical because at some time you will indulge in sex.
- The only safe way to prevent getting STD in your lifetime is to stick to one partner who has not had STD and has not been exposed to risk factors such as multiple partners, unprotected sex, etc. Monogamy with a safe partner is the only safest way to prevent getting venereal diseases.
- It would also be good practice to get both of you investigated for STDs including HIV because many times STDs are known to be symptomless. Having negative results of your STD tests for at least six months can guarantee a fair amount of safety.
- Using latex condoms correctly and consistently with a water-based lubricant does guarantee a fair amount of safety, though not fully. The risk of most STDs is very much minimized including HIV.
- Get yourself vaccinated. Vaccines are available against human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. Complete the series of three vaccinations.
- Get circumcised. This will reduce your risk of getting HIV from an infected woman by 50%. It also reduces the risk of getting HPV and genital herpes.
- Use of separate towels and underclothing by both partners.
- Always wash up well after sex.
- Stick to a moderate amount of alcohol because you tend to throw caution to the winds when intoxicated.
- Avoid drugs for the same reason.
What to do when you have STD to prevent its spread?
- See your doctor for treatment and complete the course of the treatment. Do not leave it midway.
- Do not have sex even with a condom. You risk spreading the STD to your partner.
- Resume sex only after your doctor gives the OK.
- Get your partner also screened for STD and treated if necessary.
- Follow up with your doctor after treatment.
- Get yourself investigated even if you have no symptoms of STD. Many times an STD infection may not show any symptoms.