Having protected sex will always remain your best defense against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Whenever possible, using preventative treatments to minimize your risk of some STI and having regular testing for STI can reduce the impact of these diseases.
There are few preventative treatments on the market, and even with any prophylactic treatment, you should be responsible about sex. One common preventative treatment is the vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV). This is generally given to teenagers as part of their routine vaccination schedules. Minimizing HPV infection can decrease the risk of cervical, anal, and penile cancers. If you are an adult, you should consider having the HPV vaccine if you have not tested positive for the virus. Another preventative treatment is the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which is a daily oral medication for people at high risk for contracting HIV. High-risk persons include those who engage in risky sexual behavior or those who use injectable street drugs.
Anti-viral medications are used to manage STIs that are caused by viruses. Once these infections occur, they cannot be cured. One viral STI is genital herpes, which can lie dormant for years before an outbreak occurs. During an outbreak, your doctor can prescribe antiviral medications to reduce the duration and severity. Some people with genital herpes have frequent outbreaks and might be prescribed suppressant medications, which can minimize their number of outbreaks each year. Suppressant medications are also good to use in combination with condoms to minimize the chance of infecting your partner. Similarly, HIV is managed with antiviral medications. The goal of antiviral medications in HIV-positive people is to keep the virus load virtually undetectable, which can reduce their risk of passing the virus to their partner and allows people who are HIV-positive to avoid developing AIDS.
The STIs most commonly seen can be treated with antibiotics. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are some types of STIs that can be treated with antibiotics. Ideally, you will receive regular testing to determine if you have been infected with an STI since it is easy to overlook the symptoms or be asymptomatic. Syphilis is especially problematic if it is not treated in the early stages. Once the bacteria progresses, it can lead to widespread damage in the body and may even result in death. In addition to regular testing for STIs, anything usual should be investigated, such as sores, discharge, or pelvic pain. If you are infected with an STI, your partner will also need treatment.
Treating STIs is a matter of protecting yourself by engaging in safe sex and taking any preventative treatments to minimize your chance of contracting an STI. Once an STI occurs, early treatment can prevent long-term damage from the infection. Talk to a professional to learn more about STI and STD treatment.Share