Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly referred to as STDs, are a topic that holds a negative stigma in the minds of most people. This stigma has led to a lack of conversation and education about the topic.
As fewer people know about STDs, more and more people are becoming affected. We’re here to help break the stigma and educate you on everything you need to know regarding the treatment, screening, and management of STDs.
The treatment of an STD varies depending on the specific STD at hand. For many, a simple round of antibiotics is able to treat and cure the condition. It’s vital that the patient finishes the entire round of antibiotics to cure the condition completely. You should abstain from sexual acts of any kind while undergoing treatment and inform any past partners that they may be infected as well. For more severe STDs, such as HIV, symptom management and a slowed disease progression is all that’s available to patients as the search for a cure continues.
Before you can be treated for an STD, you have to be diagnosed by a medical professional. The diagnosis comes from simple screening procedures. You should be screened anytime you notice symptoms of a possible STD, as well as anytime you have a new sexual partner.
Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you should be tested every 3-6 months to ensure your partner hasn’t given you something that they caught from other partners you didn’t previously know about. The screening process includes either a urine sample, blood sample, or swap test. The swab will be completed orally or directly on the genitalia. The process is quick, painless, and the best way to get the treatment you may need.
STD management comes from regular screening, prompt treatment, and prevention. Prevention is arguably the most critical aspect of STD management, but what exactly does that prevention entail? Some of the best forms of prevention include:
- Condoms – condoms should be used every time you engage in sexual acts. Birth control and other safe sex methods don’t prevent STDs.
- Abstinence – abstaining from sex is the only way to ensure there’s no chance of contracting an STD.
- Open communication – have a conversation about sexual history and recent STD screenings with any potential sexual partners. If the individual doesn’t want to have that open line of communication, you should view it as a red flag.
- Monogamy – limiting your sexual partners to one person that you trust and commit to greatly lowers your risk of contracting an STD, but it isn’t guaranteed.