Sexually Transmitted Infections: Treatment
British Columbia Specific Information
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) affects both men and women, and is passed from one person to another during sex or intimate contact. There are numerous ways you can protect yourself against STIs, see HealthLinkBC File #08o Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
To learn about the different STIs, symptoms, and treatment, see the HealthLinkBC Files - Sexually Transmitted Infection Series. Further information is also available from SmartSex Resource, BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV / AIDS.
If you have concerns about an STI or want additional information, speak with your health care provider, or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. You can call 8-1-1 and speak to a registered nurse anonymously anytime, every day of the year.
Treatment is available for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), no matter what the cause, to relieve symptoms, even if a cure is not possible. Some, but not all, STIs are treated with antibiotics.
- Some of the most common STIs—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—are caused by bacteria and are treated and cured with antibiotics.
- STIs caused by viruses, such as genital herpes and genital warts, are not cured with antibiotics, but treatments are available to relieve symptoms.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is a sexually transmitted virus that is treated with many medicines but is not cured.
If you think that you have been exposed to an STI, it is important to be evaluated promptly by a health professional. This will help prevent serious health problems for yourself and reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to others.
- Do not have sexual contact while waiting for your appointment.
- Do not douche unless instructed to do so by your health professional. Douching may flush an infection up into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Many STI symptoms will go away or change quickly. This does not mean that the STI has gone away. It will be harder for your health professional to diagnose your STI after the symptoms have changed. A delay in being evaluated may lead to a more serious illness.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of: May 27, 2016
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