Sexually transmitted diseases

Treatment is available for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), no matter what the cause, to alleviate symptoms, even if a cure is not possible. Some, but not all, STIs are treated with antibiotics.

Some of the most common STIs – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – are caused by bacteria and are treated and cured with antibiotics.

STIs caused by viruses, such as genital herpes and genital warts, are not cured by antibiotics, but treatments are available to relieve symptoms.

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is the cause of AIDS, is a sexually transmitted virus that is treated with many medications but is not cured.

If you think you have been exposed to an STI, it is important to be evaluated promptly by a healthcare professional. This will help prevent serious health problems for you and reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.

* Do not have sexual contact while waiting for your appointment.
* Do not do vaginal lavages unless directed by the health professional. Vaginal lavages could cause the infection to spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Many symptoms of STIs disappear or change quickly. This does not mean that the STI has disappeared. It will be more difficult for your healthcare professional to diagnose your STI after the symptoms have changed. A delay in being evaluated can lead to more serious illness.

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