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Teens and STDs: Common Myths

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If I have an STD, I'll just take antibiotics and it will go away.

For the bacterial STDs, it is true that antibiotics are highly effective. About 95% or 98% of the time when you take the antibiotic your infection will go away. But sometimes damage has already been done if you've already had the infection for a while before you got treated.

Viral STDs are harder to treat. We use antiviral medication…but they don't cure the infections. They just make the symptoms less and make the virus less transmissible. Once you are off your medication for herpes and sometimes for HIV, your virus can increase and you can be more likely to transmit it to a partner.

We've seen declines in both mortality [death] and the complications of AIDS because we have much better treatments now. But the AIDS drugs do have a lot of side effects. For many people, they need to be taken for long periods of time. AIDS is complicated and we still believe that the best treatment for HIV is to prevent becoming infected to begin with.

To learn more about STD testing, visit http://www.GYTNow.org.

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Reviewed on June 25, 2012

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