Sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs) fall into two categories; those that can be cured and those that can’t. While having an STD is physically and/or emotionally uncomfortable, some STDs can be fatal, and any STD that goes untreated can cause permanent, irreversible damage. So, which STDs are curable?
Until the 1940s, syphilis was a killer STD claiming millions of lives over hundreds of years. These days, syphilis is an STD that can be diagnosed, then treated and cured with antibiotics. It should be noted that whatever internal damage that has occurred before treatment begins cannot be reversed, and untreated syphilis can still kill.
For anyone that is sexually active, Gonorrhea is a common STI to be concerned about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate more than 712,000 new cases of gonorrhea are contracted each year with only half of those cases being reported. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent damage in both sexes. Fortunately, gonorrhea is treatable and curable with properly prescribed medication. In recent years, strains of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea have developed, but remain curable at this point.
The most highly reported bacterial STD in the United States is Chlamydia. More than 1.4 million chlamydia cases were recently reported to the CDC. Since chlamydia often occurs without symptoms, it frequently goes unreported. An estimated 2.9 million chlamydia infections occur each year. Once diagnosed, chlamydia is easily cured with a single dose of antibiotics.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection in women. Specifically women that are of childbearing age. It is an STD although some cases of BV occur without sex being involved. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to BV and all pregnant women should be tested. A positive test result can be cured and treated with antibiotics.
Most consider Trichomoniasis as the most common STD that is curable in the US. The CDC estimates that over 3.8 million people are infected with trichomoniasis, but only thirty percent have symptoms. Following a diagnosis via a lab test, this STD is easily cured with an oral dose of antibiotics.
While no one wants an STD, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, or trichomoniasis are the ones to get. All are easily treated and cured with antibiotics. The key to a swift cure is early diagnosis. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to any of these common STDs, see a doctor as soon as possible. In the case of STDs, knowledge is power.