Treatment and Management of STIs
Antibiotics are used to cure sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by bacteria such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Antibiotics cannot cure STIs caused by viruses such as herpes simplex (HSV), genital warts (HPV) or HIV.
There are many different types of antibiotics and it is important to get the right antibiotics. It is not a good idea to take medicine from your friends or leftover pills you have at home to treat yourself. With the wrong medication, the bacteria may not be completed cleared from your body.
It is also important to take all of the medication in the way you were told to. When antibiotics are not taken properly, bacteria can continue to grow. They can change or adapt to become resistant to the antibiotic. There is growing concern that the antibiotics we use today may no longer be effective in the future. Taking antibiotics properly helps to reduce resistant bacteria.
Make sure to talk with your health care provider about how to take the antibiotics that you are prescribed.
Talk to your health care provider if you get side effects from the antibiotics or if your symptoms do not clear up.
Check out the STIs and Conditions section for more information about specific STIs and treatment
HealthLink BC – Using Antibiotics Wisely
Managing Some STIs
STIs caused by some viruses can be treated and managed with medication, but medication does not clear them from your body. These viruses include HIV, herpes, HPV, and hepatitis B.
If you have one of these infections, you may be wondering about how this will affect your sex life. Some common concerns include how to manage symptoms and how to talk to partners. Some people feel sad, angry, fearful or uncertain about what this will mean for them. If you are having some of these concerns or feelings, it can help to get more information and find emotional support.
Some things to remember:
- STIs are very common and the majority of people who are sexually active will get one or more STI in their life; having an STI is not a reflection of the kind of person you are
- You can still have relationships and sex; practicing safer sex can reduce the chance of passing STIs to partners
- There are medications that can help to reduce symptoms; talk to a health care provider about your options
We have developed toolkits with more information to address common questions and concerns– check out our Herpes Guide, HPV Guide, as well as our webpage about HIV.
Some infections are considered reportable to public health to monitor trends and to help plan programs and services. The STIs that are considered reportable in BC to public health are:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C