If you have some of the symptoms described in this article, or think you may have a sexually transmitted infection, you'll need a medical exam to diagnose and determine the best treatment for the specific STI. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. To help diagnose STI, your doctor may order blood tests, urine tests, or may take a swab from the genital area, which will be sent to a laboratory for evaluation.
Sexually active individuals, particularly those with multiple partners, are recommended to have regular checkups with a family doctor. In some cases, there are no obvious symptoms and the infections that cause STIs can only be identified through regular STI screening tests.
Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections, like the ones that cause gonorrhea, syphilis, or chancroid. Gonorrhea often occurs at the same time as chlamydia, so doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat both gonorrhea and chlamydia.
People with acute hepatitis B are usually treated only for symptoms. Most adults clear the virus on their own. However, for the few people that do not, treatment exists to reduce the risk of long-term liver damage.
There is no cure for HIV. Doctors prescribe different combinations of antiviral medications to slow down the progress of the disease. Treatments can vary from one person to the next to determine what combination works best for you. Doctors also treat secondary infections that result from a weakened immune system.
Don't be shy about asking new sexual partners if they have STIs, or letting them know if you have one. To avoid spreading STIs, people who are sexually active and have multiple partners can be routinely screened - and rapidly treated - by a doctor.
If you want to prevent getting STIs, you should: