Std prevention and treatment

by Cassidy Smith and Renee le Gros

What is an STD?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. This means these diseases spread through sexual intercourse, contact with infected genitalia, and even through a birth through an infected birth canal, however some can even be spread through non-sexual acts such as sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or kissing and sharing other bodily fluids.

STDs can lead to numerous unpleasant outcomes that range anywhere from consistent discomfort, sickness, and even death.

How can you avoid catching or spreading an STD?

The best way to be 100% sure that you don’t get an STD is to not have sex and never share any kind of bodily fluids. You can’t even share food and drinks with people! Seriously though, not all of you want to practice abstinence. Sex is great and kissing is fun and sharing a milkshake with your girlfriend or boyfriend or bestfriend is hard to abstain from. There are other ways to prevent yourself from getting an STD while you still get to enjoy doing what you love with the ones you love.

GET TESTED! The first step in preventing the spread of STDs is getting yourself and your partners tested for STDs before you even think about having sexual intercourse. Some STDs are asymptomatic, which means that you can’t really see that they’re there on the surface.

USE PROTECTION! Male and Female Condoms are a great way to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and unwanted diseases, but you have to use them correctly. Read the instructions on the package and practice putting on and taking off your condoms safely before you go get some. Keep in mind that you can still get STDs even when using a condom.

GET VACCINATIONS AND PRE/POST-EXPOSURE MEDICATIONS! Some really nasty STDs, like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B are hard to get rid of. Fortunately, if you have even the slightest idea that you might find yourself exposed to these STDs, you can get special preventative drugs so that you stay healthy and happy! Hepatitis B has a series of vaccines, and HIV can be prevented if you make sure to get treated with pre-exposure prophylaxis and a post-exposure prophylaxis before and after having sex with a potentially infected partner.

STAY WITH THE ONE(S)! Monogamy significantly reduces the risk of contacting STDs, but even polyamorous people can prevent the spread of disease in their partnership. By only having intimate relations with the same person(s), you won’t risk a surprise contraction of an STD that nobody knew about.

Can STDs be treated?

Most STDs are actually curable! In fact, many of the most common STDs are caused by microorganisms or bacteria, and can be treated with antibiotics and other medications.

However, it is true that some STDs cannot be cured. These include HIV and AIDS, some of the most potentially dangerous STDs out there. While these cannot be cured, it is definitely possible to live with an incurable STD, and even live a normal life. It is best to consult a specialized doctor for first steps, and to keep an eye on your condition.

Keep in mind that even cured STDs can still impact your life in the future. For example, some can cause you to be more susceptible to contracting other STDs and others can be passed onto your future children. Make sure to visit a healthcare professional every so often for a check up on your health.