Untreated STIs can lead to serious long-term health consequences including blindness, neurologic manifestations, infertility or even death. Though some STIs are incurable, all are preventable.
How to prevent STIs?
1. Practise Safer Sex
Practise safer sex, improve personal hygiene, use condom during sex are the most effective ways in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For men, circumcision can also reduce risk of genital herpes, HPV and HIV infections.
2. Get Vaccinated
Vaccination is an alternative means for HPV prevention. However, other STIs, such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV do not have a vaccine yet.
3. Get Tested
When you feel worried about getting an infection or if you practise unprotected sex, you are advised to receive STI testing and seek medical advice as soon as possible. This would reduce the pain and discomfort due to the infection and protect your partner from getting infected. To prevent reinfection, you can also ask your partner to get tested, too.
Treatment and Management
Syphilis, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and chlamydia are bacterial infections that are curable by using antibiotics under medical prescription. Though curable, the medication does not make you immune to catching the infection again if unsafe sex still occurs.
Currently there is no treatment available for curing viral infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV, virus that causes genital wart and genital herpes). For HIV infections, treatments can be applied for suppressing the virus and restoring body’s immunity. Genital herpes and genital warts can be treated with medications to lower viral load and reducing pain. Some may need a surgery to remove large warts.