What is the treatment?
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are commonly spread by sex, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex. More than thirty different types of bacteria, viruses and parasites can cause STI. Sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, HIV (human immunodeficiency) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), HPV (human papillomavirus), trichomoniasis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of these diseases can be treated with antibiotics like azithromycin, cefixime and metronidazole. Treatments can reduce the symptoms and progression of most of these infections.
How is the treatment done?
Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sex for seven days after the single dose of antibiotics or until the completion of a seven day course of antibiotics. Genital herpes cannot be cured but can be controlled with medications, HPV cannot be cured but can be prevented with vaccines and controlled with medications. Regular screening with a Pap smear Test can prevent or detect most cases of early stage HPV caused cervical cancer. Syphilis can be treated with a single injection of antibiotic if recognized during the early stages, usually within one year of infection. If not it could not be recognized during early stages, then syphilis may need longer period treatment with antibiotics. Trichomoniasis can be treated with a single dose of antibiotics, usually either metronidazole or tinidazole, taken by mouth. Hepatitis B can be treated with antiviral medications and can be prevented with vaccination. Persons who may have a higher risk of HIV infection can obtain HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP which consist of HIV medication known as Truvada from their doctors and should take this consistently to prevent HIV. AIDS can be prevented in those who are suffering from HIV by early initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
All STDs do not show symptoms so treatments can sometimes get delayed. But some infections come with some symptoms. Persons who are suffering from symptoms like poor apetite, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, small red bumps which turn into blister like sores on genitals, rear ends, thighs, fingers, abnormal vaginal bleeding, whitish vaginal or penile discharge, painful inter course, burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, painless sore around vagina or penis, heavy greenish discharge with a foul odour, abdominal pain, vaginal itching or burning, warts on the genital and anal area should seek a doctor’s help. There is a chance of them getting infected with one of the STDs.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Before starting any treatment it is always recommended to consult a doctor because effectiveness of a treatment depends on the health condition of the patient and the stage of the infection. As most of the medicines have one or the other side effects so it is healthy to seek a doctor’s suggestion whether he/she is eligible for the treatment. Non-eligibility will vary from person to person.
Are there any side effects?
Medicines for the treatment or control of sexually transmitted diseases may cause some side effects such as an allergic reaction, have itching, redness and swelling in the skin. Some kind of germs may even cause development of cancer. Some viral infections like hepatitis B and HIV can cause serious illness and may result in death. Medications for chlamydia can cause nausea and vomiting, belly pain or cramps, vaginal itching or discharge. After the treatment with antibiotics, patient who was suffering from syphilis can experience fever, headaches, joint or muscle pain and nausea and chills. Side effects of HIV medication are- hypersensitivity reaction, anemia, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, neuropathy, rash, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite etc. like this many other medications for other STDs may have side effects.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
Even if the symptoms go away during the treatment patients must continue their course of medication. Doctors will generally prescribe blood tests to ensure that the patients are responding to the medications given. Sex partners must be get tested too if they need. It is suggested to avoid unsafe sex and to use condoms while having sexual intercourse as the person has a chance of getting re-infected with the disease. For some infections, it is suggested to get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.
How long does it take to recover?
HIV is not curable but the treatment can prolong a patient’s life. Medications should be continued as per the health condition of the patient. Hepatitis B is curable. It does not take long to get treated. Genital herpes is not curable. Medications can reduce pain and frequency and lengths of herpes. If the treatment is early it can be effective otherwise it would take a long time of treatment, chlamydia is curable and requires some time to get cured, syphilis and gonorrhoea can also be cured and will not require much time. Recovery time depends on the stage of the infection and health condition of the patients and their response to the medications given.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Cost of treatment will be determined by fees of doctor and the type of STD a patient is affected with, stage of the disease and medications chosen for a particular patient. Many low cost STD checking packages are also available. Cost of treatment will vary.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
Permanency cannot be guaranteed in many cases because infections can return or the symptoms or infection may not have disappeared with the treatment. But there have been many cases where the curable diseases have been effectively cured.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Amongst many home remedies, Echinacea is highly appreciated as this herb is used to treat many infections including STDs as it boosts immune system and stimulate hormone secretion in the body, garlic can prevent the risks of STDs as garlics contain antiviral and germ killing power that may effectively purify the whole system,. Yogurt is very well known for its natural probiotics which make it ideal for fighting with the infections throughout the body. Probiotics can help in the growth of good bacteria in the body. Other herbs which can be proved to be beneficial for STD treatment are- lemon juice which can reduce the pain associated with the STDs through its astringent properties, lemon balm, aloe vera gel, neem leaves, milk thistle, cranberry juice, tea tree oil etc.HIV AIDS