STD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (continued)

STDs are curable, right?

Some STDs are curable and some are not. This is easiest to understand if you divide STDs into two categories: Viral and Bacterial.

VIRAL STDs are not curable

STDs caused by viruses are not curable. Herpes, HPV/genital warts, and HIV are examples. They can all be treated to control symptoms or help a person live a healthier life. Hepatitis B infection can be prevented if a person gets the vaccine before he or she is exposed to the virus. Unfortunately, there currently aren’t any cures for viral infections.

BACTERIAL STDs are curable

STDs caused by bacteria are curable, usually with antibiotics. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are examples of bacterial infections. If a person is diagnosed with a curable STD, he or she should inform partners so that they can be tested and treated as well, take all medication as prescribed by the health care provider, and follow up after medication is completed to be sure that the infection is gone.

Here you can find the list of curable and uncurable STDs.

How is gonorrhea transmitted?

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected partner. Gonorrhea can be passed even if the tongue or penis doesn’t go all the way into the mouth, vagina, or rectum and even if no blood, semen, or vaginal secretions are exchanged. Latex condoms are recommended to help reduce the likelihood of transmission and are most effective if they are used from the very beginning of any contact until the very end.

What are the symptoms of syphilis?

Syphilis, like most STDs, may not show symptoms right away. If symptoms do show, they may go unnoticed or be dismissed as unimportant. Syphilis symptoms follow three basic stages. The primary symptom, called a chancre, is a raised, rubbery lesion that is usually painless. Even without medication, this symptom will usually go away on its own. Secondary syphilis can cause patchy rashes primarily on the hands or soles of the feet. These symptoms can go away without medication as well. Finally, third stage syphilis or tertiary syphilis can cause permanent damage, including vision loss, neurologic dysfunction, heart disease, and death. A blood test can diagnose syphilis even if there are no symptoms present. Syphilis can be cured at any stage; however, if damage has already occurred, it cannot be reversed.