If you test positive for an STI, get treated!
Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be cured with the right medicine. Bacterial infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. Remember to take the medicine as directed and never share your medication with others. If it is safe to do so, talk to your sex partner(s) about getting tested for STIs. If your sex partner is infected, it is important to treat them at the same time to prevent re-infection. Having an STI and getting it treated does not protect you from future infections!
Other STIs such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) aren't curable, but they can be treated. Talk to your healthcare provider to start treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment not only helps you stay healthy but can also reduce your chance of spreading the virus to someone else.
If left untreated, STIs can cause very serious health problems such as:
- Gonorrhea can cause men and women to become infertile (unable to have children)
- Long term syphilis infection can damage internal organs
- HIV can progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
Having one STI also increases your chances of getting other STIs. So get treated, stay healthy!
To learn more about STIs, visit www.bphc.org/STI.