There are at least 25 STDs commonly found in the United States today.1 Some of them are curable and some are incurable.
Curable STDs are typically bacterial infections and parasites. They can be treated with antibiotics, and people may experience no harmful effects if treated immediately. Unfortunately, most people with STDs don’t realize they are infected because they develop no visible symptoms for a period of time.
Incurable STDs are typically viral infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and genital herpes. Doctors cannot cure these infections and people have them for life. HPV is an incurable infection also, but in many cases a person’s immune system is able to clear the infection on its own.
If undiagnosed and untreated, some STDs can result in a weakened immune system, cancer, liver damage, organ failure, paralysis, sterility, or death. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia and is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.2
People who are sexually active outside of a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner should be tested for STDs on a regular basis.
Where can I get tested?
- 4parents.gov, “The Facts," n.d.
- Centers for Disease Control, “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Fact Sheet," n.d. Retrieved Feb. 2007 from http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm.