Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are of great concern to anyone who is sexually active. Contrary to popular myths, most STDs do not go away on their own and can cause more and more harm to health if left untreated. The result is that some or not all STDs may disappear without treatment, but many can persist for months, years, or even a lifetime. If you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, the best thing to do is to get tested so you don't assume that, if you've contracted something, it will just go away.
Parasitic and bacterial STDs do not go away without medical intervention and always require prescription treatment. Sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. STDs caused by parasites include trichomoniasis, scabies, and pubic lice. All of these sexually transmitted diseases are curable, but require a diagnosis and a doctor's prescription.
If left untreated, these STDs can cause health complications and be passed on to sexual partners, so it's important to get tested and treated regularly. For most people, human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B can go away on their own. An STI is very unlikely to disappear without treatment, and if treatment is delayed, there is a risk that the infection will cause long-term problems. Even if you don't have any symptoms, there is also a risk of transmitting the infection to your partner.
Similarly, if you experience symptoms related to an STD and the symptoms eventually disappear, this doesn't mean that the STD is gone. Sexually transmitted diseases have been around for thousands of years and are becoming more common over time. It's important to remember that the absence of symptoms doesn't mean there isn't an infection. A recent report from the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene revealed that STDs are on the rise in New York City.
To reduce the risk of contracting an STD or passing one on to someone else, it's important to use safer sexual barriers with any partner whose STD status you are not aware of or with any partner who is positive for an STD during vaginal, oral and anal intercourse. To learn more about the different types of STDs, the diseases they cause, and how to get treated if you have one, keep reading.