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    Understanding Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Disease

    What Are the Treatments for Sexually Transmitted Diseases? continued...

    Syphilis : Penicillin is the preferred treatment for syphilis. Early treatment is crucial to prevent the bacteria from spreading to and damaging other organs.

    Genital herpes : Once you are infected with genital herpes, the virus remains in your body for life. After the first outbreak, herpes may flare several times per year, but these flares may lessen over time. Antiviral medication (such as Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex) can help reduce the length and severity of both the initial and subsequent outbreaks. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to use suppressive therapy. In suppressive therapy, your doctor prescribes medicine for you to take every day, to prevent you from getting an outbreak.

    Genital warts : There is no standard of treatment for genital warts. Most genital warts will disappear without treatment, so your doctor may choose to do nothing. However, you will still carry the virus that causes warts and can still transmit it to sex partners. If you do choose to treat the warts, you have several options. Freezing the warts or applying medication directly to them are often the first choices. If the warts do not respond to these options, surgery may be necessary to remove them. Remember, though, treatment does not rid you of the infection, and you can still transmit it to others.

    Hepatitis B: The goal of hepatitis B treatment is to stop liver damage by preventing the virus from spreading. There are now five drugs approved for use in hepatitis B in adults and promising new drugs on the horizon. They are interferon alpha, pegylated interferon, lamivudine, adefovir, and entecavir. Each has pros and cons that you should discuss with your doctor. If you develop significant liver damage, a liver transplant may be necessary.

    Trichomoniasis : Infection by this organism is treated with the drug metronidazole, and the cure rate is about 90%. The drug is usually taken orally, but women in their first three months of pregnancy may be prescribed a cream or suppository to insert into the vagina. If this is ineffective, they can be given metronidazole pills to take in the second or third trimesters. Partners should also be treated to insure there is no reinfection. Also, it is important to be retested after three months to make sure the infection is completely cleared. This should happen even if the partner was treated.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 18, 2015
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