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Treatment of STDs


Updated May 23, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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There are many STDs out there, and the types of STD treatment are as varied as their symptoms. Remember, however, if you are diagnosed with an STD, that the only person who can tell you the appropriate STD treatment is your healthcare provider. Treatment is decided on between you and your doctor on an individual basis in order to adjust for any other issues that may be affecting your overall physical health.

STDs can be broken down into basically three categories, which similarly define their treatment. The first category is STDs caused by viruses, such as herpes and HIV. These are usually treated with oral antiviral or antiretroviral medications. However, some viral STDs, such as HPV, aren't treated at all unless they cause symptoms.

The second type of STDs consists of those diseases caused by bacterial infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These are treated with antibiotics; however, doctors have to be careful when they prescribe them. Using the wrong antibiotics can exacerbate existing problems of antibiotic resistance. Resistance can also be a consequence of people failing to take their antibiotics correctly.

The third type of STDs is a catchall - it consists of all those disease caused by fungi, parasites, and little creepy crawlies - such as scabies. These diseases can be treated either using drugs you take by mouth or through the use of topical agents.

Treatment for Specific STDs

Below you can find links to articles that contain treatment guidelines for various STDs. However, be aware that your treatment may vary depending on other factors affecting your health. Under no circumstance should you attempt to treat yourself for STDs using medication you have purchased over the Internet or otherwise without a prescription. In addition, you should always make certain to take all medications as directed, including finishing your drugs even once your symptoms have improved. And if you feel shy or embarrassed about getting treatment from your regular doctor, consider going to an anonymous STD clinic. It's easy to find one in your community.

Next: Finding STD treatment

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