There is a long list of sexually transmitted diseases, and it can be difficult to remember which ones can be cured and which ones are merely treatable, although incurable (they will stay in the body forever, as long as the person lives). The difference between curable and incurable STDs mainly has to do with whether they are viral or bacterial. Viral STDs cannot be cured, while bacterial STDs can be cured with antibiotics or a similar treatment.
As many sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms at the outset, only STD testing can reveal whether or not someone has contracted a viral or bacterial STD.
Curable and Incurable STDs, Plus, Effective Treatments
1. Curable STDs: Bacterial Infections
Curable STDs can be eradicated for good, though this does not protect a person from contracting a new infection later.
Chlamydia – Thankfully, the most common sexually transmitted disease is totally curable. Chlamydia is treated with a round of antibiotics, which kill the infection. Experts recommend taking antibiotics even if one has only been exposed to the infection and is not showing symptoms.
Gonorrhea – Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. It is also recommended that those who have been exposed take treatment, despite any lack of symptoms. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to damage of the reproductive organs if these infections are left ignored or untreated for an extended period of time. In women, this can result in infertility.
Most doctors will recommend getting retested for both gonorrhea and chlamydia three months after antibiotics to make sure the infection is totally gone, according to WebMD. It is additionally worth noting that, recently, gonorrhea has begun to show signs of being resistant to medication, which may have an effect on treatment outcomes for many people.
Syphilis – Syphilis is most often treated with penicillin. This infection must be treated soon after it is contracted to prevent it spreading throughout the body and attacking other organs. Organ damage incurred during what is called the “late latent stage” will be permanent and irreversible.
Trichomoniasis – As “trich” (its common name) is caused by a parasitic protozoan, it can be cured with antibiotics. However, it should be noted that trich has a 90 percent cure rate – which means it doesn’t always work.
Pubic lice, or crabs – This is not necessarily an STD, though it can be transmitted through sex. Pubic lice or crabs are parasites that live on the surface of the skin, feeding on the affected person’s blood. They can be treated with prescription washes, which kill the parasites and their eggs.
2. Incurable, but Treatable, STDs: Viral Infections
Many STDs are incurable, but often their symptoms can be managed. People with incurable but treatable STDs can usually live lives that are not defined by them.
Some strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) – HPV is more commonly known as genital warts. While many cases clear up on their own (this usually takes about a year), others are not so lucky. When infected with certain strains, people with HPV can have problems long-term with the virus. Specific strains of HPV can even cause cancer. HPV treatment will depend on the person, but usually, it addresses the symptoms, such as freezing off or removing warts.
Hepatitis A and B – Both hepatitis A and B affect the liver. Impaired liver function can lead to severe illness and even death if left untreated. There is no cure for either type of hepatitis, but, like HPV, the body is usually able to clear these up on its own thanks to the immune system and antibodies.
When the body can’t clear it up, the affected person is left with chronic hepatitis B. Treatment for it includes medication that helps slow down the virus’s attack on the liver. Some people with hepatitis B eventually need a liver transplant.
Genital herpes – A person infected with genital herpes will carry the virus in their bodies for life. Many people carry herpes without knowing it, and it is easily spread this way. An initial outbreak of herpes may be followed by continual flare-ups every few months. Medication can help lessen the severity and duration of herpes outbreaks, but it can’t cure it.
HIV/AIDS – HIV is a viral infection with no cure. It attacks the immune system, and if left untreated, it decimates the body’s ability to protect itself from everyday germs and threats that cause illnesses.
HIV can turn into full-blown AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) within years without medication to slow down the progression of the disease. Those who receive treatment early enough can still live long lives, but only if the disease is managed properly at the outset.
STD Testing as a Prevention Method and Catalyst for Treatment
A common thread ties together treatments for all STDs, whether they are curable or incurable: they all depend on early detection and treatment in order to get the best health results. People who carry STDs unknowingly risk damage to their bodies, such as organ damage, damage to the reproductive system, organ failure, cancer, and even death. This is not to mention the risk of spreading an STD is greater when someone doesn’t know they are carrying one.
The only way to know if one has an STD is to get STD testing in Frisco, TX. There is no other way.
Life with an STD is Totally Manageable
As sexually transmitted diseases are often treatable, if not outright curable, getting diagnosed with one is not the end of the world. STD testing will give peace of mind as well as a jumpstart to getting treated and getting rid of the infection, or, conversely, beginning treatment to manage the symptoms of the virus. The bottom line? Better to get tested and take control of one’s health than to live in ignorance and eventually suffer the consequences.