I have just been diagnosed with an STD. What do I do now?
Do not panic. Calm down. The biggest hurdle in treating STDs and HIV is knowing who has the illness. Now that we know you have, half of the battle is won. Most STDs have complete cure with a short course of antibiotics. Even those which do not have a cure, can be very well controlled with medicines so that it doesn’t affect your sexual, physical and mental health. These are the 3 things that you need to know if you have recently been tested positive for an STD.
- Go see a doctor who is an expert in treating STDs. He may advice you to get a few more tests and will soon start you on medications. There are a lot of government hospitals which are equipped with centers for treatment of all STDs and HIV. Get on to treatment soon.
- Inform your sexual partner/s and sexual contacts about the need for them to get tested. Your partner may also be infected and not know it and needs to get tested and treated. Also, without treatment, your partner may pass the STD back to you (after you are cured) or to others.
It may be emotionally uncomfortable, but telling your partners about STDs allows them to protect their health, too. Being diagnosed with an STD can cause many strong emotions. You may begin to question your trust in your partner or be worried that they will question their trust in you. Before you blame anyone, know that STDs are common and don’t always cause symptoms. It is possible that you or your partner got the STD in a previous relationship without even knowing it. Keeping that in mind, talk to your partner as soon as possible. Be honest and straightforward.
During and after your talk, your partner may also have many strong emotions. The most helpful thing you can do is listen to your partner’s concerns and fears and offer information about the STD and its symptoms and treatment. Give your partner time to absorb this information. Help your partner understand that they may also have the STD. Sometimes, no one knows for sure who had the infection first.
- Get tested again and always play safe. Getting tested again helps you in confirming successful treatment of STDs and knowing if you missed any STD/HIV in your previous test. Also, if you have got any new STD.
- Those caused by bacteria – This included Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea etc. These can be completely cured with courses of antibiotics
- Those caused by viruses – This includes HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis, Warts etc. Many of them are self-limiting such as Hepatitis A. But the others require treatment to keep them under control and prevent them from causing damage to body.
Avoid approaching “desi” doctors and “Babas” and “Hakeems” or doctors who advertise in newspaper as experts in “guptrog” or those that advertise along the railway tracks. Avoid herbal treatment/ayurvedic medicines.
It’s common to get infected with STDs again. Even if you and your partner took medicine, you should be retested in 3 months. A good way to remember is to set a notification on your phone or email, ask your doctor’s office or clinic to remind you, or scribble a note on your calendar—whatever you need to do to make sure you stay healthy!
Safer sex can prevent you from getting STDs again.
Can anyone have both HIV and STD?
Yes. As a matter of fact, it commonly occurs together. Presence of an STD increases the chances of getting HIV infection during sex. Therefore, most people who have an STD will be advised to take a HIV test along with STD tests and vice versa.
Are STDs and HIV curable?
There are broadly 2 kinds of STDs.