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STIs are sexually transmitted infections. They are exactly what they sound like – viral or bacterial infections that are passed through sexual acts. This includes vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, and genital touching. It is also possible for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman who has an STI to pass it to her infant. Many STIs are treatable, but some are not. Using a condom is the only way to protect a sexually active person from an STI, but we are not perfect and mistakes happen. It is smart to get tested regularly because STIs can be asymptomatic, but if you have symptoms it is especially important to contact a physician and get tested. Until you get your results back, it would be smart to stop having sex to ensure that you do not pass a possible infection to your sexual partner.
So you have a STI … now what? If the STI is curable, it will most likely go away! These STIs can be treated with simple medicine and antibiotics. By following the dosage and instructions given by a physician, your infection can be treated and you will soon be infection free! It is important to also tell your sexual partner that you have a STI so that they can get tested as well. After you are done taking the antibiotics or other medicine prescribed, it is a good idea to get retested to ensure that you are now clean. Until then, do not engage in sexual activity. Once you test negative, you can move on with your STI in the past.
What if it is not curable? Incurable STIs stick around in the body forever, but there are still ways to minimize symptoms and prevent passing the infection. Meet with a doctor to talk about the right plan and available medications for you.
Engage in safe sex practices and get tested regularly but know that STIs happen – they are not ideal, but they can be managed, and in many cases cured.