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Engaging in safe sex is crucial not only to prevent vaginal infections but also to be aware of the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A STD is a bacteria or virus that is spread by sexual contact (from one person to another through vaginal, oral, and anal sex) and can seriously harm your sexual health. It is not a typical infection that can be easily treated. Unfortunately, there are also some incurable STDs.
In an exclusive chat with Health Shots, Dr Neha Bothara, Consultant-Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital, about which STDs cannot be completely cured.
STDs that cannot be cured
Dr Bothara says, “STDs can be transmitted from person-to-person through sexual contact—penetrative sex or otherwise. Once you have a STD, you should seek medical assistance since you always run the risk of infecting your sexual partner with a viral STD (whether it is curable or incurable). While some STDs can be totally healed, others require lengthy treatment or cannot be cured. However, with long-term treatment, those incurable STDs can be effectively managed, lowering the chance of transmission.”
Here are 5 incurable STDs
1. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
The most well-known and dreaded STI is HIV. Over the past years, follow-up care, long-term medicine, and antiretroviral therapy have improved HIV patient disease management. The treatment aids in preventing the virus’ growth and spread while maintaining a robust immune system. Additionally, these medications aid in preventing the development of AIDS from HIV. However, it remains a fact that there is no complete cure of HIV.
Also read: Do STDs lead to infertility? Let’s find out
2. Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
A viral infection called HSV Genital Herpes is spread by genital-sexual contact as well as by fomites and other means. Herpetic infections persist for a very long time in the body. Herpes normally begins as a newly acquired infection, and over time, the herpetic rashes occasionally recur. The virus never truly leaves the body; subsequent outbreaks are milder and typically spaced further apart. The main goals of treatment are to control pain and other uncomfortable herpes symptoms.
3. Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV infections are also found to be long-standing. Once infected with HPV most men and women develop an immune response to the infection and can then shed it out of their body. However, in a tiny number of individuals, the viral infection might continue to exist and over the following few years, produce local alterations in the cervical mucosa that eventually result in cervical cancer.
4. Viral hepatitis
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are two forms of viral hepatitis that are transmitted sexually. Both these infections once contracted are incurable. Viral hepatitis B and C cause long-term liver inflammation, and cirrhosis and can eventually lead to hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer.
5. Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is most commonly transmitted through mosquitoes, but it can also be transmitted sexually. Zika virus’ most dreaded complication is congenital anomalies in the foetus, if the infection is during the pregnancy period.