Treatments for STDs: How Effective Are They?
Contracting an STD can evoke a number of emotions. Guilt, anger, shock, and sadness are all common responses. Once the initial consternation is over, treatment options must be considered. How will the prescribed regimen work? Will it completely eliminate the condition? How long will it take to work? Here is a brief primer of STDs and the efficacy of treatments available for them.
One of the most common STDs, there are about 3 million new cases of gonorrhea every near. The unpleasant symptoms include discharge from sex organs and pain during urination. For years antibiotics were used effectively to treat this condition. However, bacteria-resistant strains are on the rise, and it is becoming more and more difficult to completely eradicate the disease. Multiple treatments with different antibiotics may be necessary for treatment.
As herpes is a viral infection, it requires antiviral medicines to treat it. Unfortunately, there is no cure for genital herpes, so the medications used for it work to lessen the effect of the symptoms. This can make living with herpes a challenge, as oral outbreaks can be visible and embarrassing. Topical medications help to decrease the frequency and duration of the breakouts, but it will not prevent them. Even with fewer breakouts and the lessened severity that the medications provide, it is still unsafe for infected persons to have sex.
While often thought of as a women’s condition, men can also contract this bacterial infection. When symptoms are present, they are very similar to gonorrhea, but in many cases there are none at all. Like gonorrhea, doctors commonly treat chlamydia with antibacterial medications. Testing is highly recommended after the course of medication is completed to make sure the infection is gone.
HPV is the most common STD, and usually presents with warts that appear almost anywhere on the body. However, the vast majority of HPV warts are genital. A vaccine is available for this condition, and it is highly recommended, as HPV can sometimes lead to cervical cancer in women. If the virus has been contracted, the usual treatment centers on elimination of the warts. This can be done via topical preparations that slowly destroy the wart. Alternatively, ablation can be performed using liquid nitrogen, electrical destruction, laser destruction, or surgery.