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After You've Been Diagnosed With An STD...


A sexually transmitted disease diagnosis can be extremely stressful. You may feel dirty, or feel you've been betrayed. It is important to remember, however, that STDs are just diseases. You shouldn't feel bad about yourself just because you have one. At this point, it's time to talk to your doctor about STD treatment, and to your partner about responsibility. If you know who you got the STD from, they should be tested and treated as well, and you should let any former partners know that they might be at risk. More than ever, while you're being treated, you'll need to practice safe sex.
  1. Treatment
  2. Living with STDs
  3. STDs & Pregnancy
  4. Chlamydia : In Depth
  5. Herpes : In Depth
  1. HIV : In Depth
  2. HPV : In Depth
  3. Syphilis : In Depth
  4. STD Screenings - STDs In The Media
  5. Understanding STD Research


The first question a person often has when they've been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease is, "Can it be cured?" Although not all STDs can be cured, most can, and all can be treated to relieve symptoms and reduce the possibility of transmission to your sexual partners. You can learn more about the treatment for specific STDs below, but remember that even if you're cured once, it doesn't mean you can't be infected again.

Living with STDs

Some sexually transmitted diseases cannot be cured. When that's the case, the only thing you can do is live with them, stay as healthy as possible, and try to protect your partners. Being diagnosed with an incurable STD is not the end of your life, it just means that you have to live a little differently.

STDs & Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be the most incredible time of a woman's life. Unfortunately, it's also a time when women have to be careful about what they allow into their bodies -- and sexually transmitted diseases are no exception to that rule. Many sexually transmitted diseases can have negative effects on the pregnancy, but fortunately these effects can usually be minimized if the conditions are caught and treated early. STD screening is possibly even more important during pregnancy than it is at other points of a person's life.

Chlamydia : In Depth

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the United States, with more than 1 million new cases diagnosed in 2006. Although most people who are infected with chlamydia remain asymptomatic for years, the disease is a leading cause of infertility and is also one of the major causes of preventable blindness worldwide. Regular screening for chlamydia should be a part of every sexually active individual's health care plan. Without screening, permanent damage can be done before you even know you are infected.

Herpes : In Depth

Being diagnosed with genital herpes can be a frightening thing. It doesn't need to be. The best way to deal with your fear is to overwhelm it with information. Although outbreaks are painful, they will likely become less common over time, and there are ways to reduce the likelihood you will pass the virus on to a partner. Want to learn more? Read on...

HIV : In Depth

When HIV was discovered in the early 80s, it changed the way people thought about sexually transmitted diseases. They were no longer simply unpleasant, embarrassing, or an inconvenience. It became abundantly clear that sex could, sometimes, kill you. These days, for many people, HIV is more of a chronic illness than a death sentence, but around the world AIDS still kills over a million people each year. That's why prevention is the key.

HPV : In Depth

When I was in graduate school I was always amazed to discover how few people knew of the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer. These days, the association is discussed constantly by parents, teens, the government, and even advertising agencies. However, although cervical cancer is a major consequence of HPV infection, it's not the only one. Understanding HPV means also understanding that the virus is associated with a wide variety of other conditions... and sometimes with no disease at all.

Syphilis : In Depth

A few years ago, scientists thought it might actually be possible to get syphilis under control, but that now seems like a pipe dream. The number of new primary and syphilis cases has been rising steadily in adults, and there has also been an increase in the amount of congenital syphilis seen in infants. The historical ills associated with syphilis fall squarely on scientists' shoulders, but the new epidemic is the result of changes in behavior... in particular, the increase in the number of people practicing unprotected oral sex because they incorrectly think it is a safer alternative to intercourse.

STD Screenings - STDs In The Media

If you've been diagnosed with an STD, it can be difficult to discuss it with your partner, friends, or family. Sometimes seeing your condition on television, or in a movie, can put the disease in a new light and make it easier to talk about. Here are some good conversation starters...

Understanding STD Research

One of the problems with doing health research on the Internet is figuring out who, and what, to believe. About.com is great, because you know there is a medical review board double checking all of the health experts, but how do those experts know what's right and wrong? They know because they understand how research is done and what the publication process is, and therefore they can use that knowledge to weed through the good and bad information before explaining it to you. Still, in case you were wondering how this stuff works as well, here's a peek behind the scenes...

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