A Sexually transmitted infection (STIs) is one passed from one person to another through unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral). This does not mean these infections can’t be passed through other means; some can be transmitted through needles, pregnancy and even breast milk.
There are over 30 different types of STIs caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses. Of the 30, 8 are very common.
4 of the 8 are caused by bacteria/parasites and are curable, this includes gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. The other 4 are caused by viruses and are incurable, this includes HIV, Hepatitis B, Herpes and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).
Diagnosis of STIs
Many STIs go unnoticed because infected persons may show no symptoms. This does not mean they are not contagious. If you suspect you are at risk of an STI:
- Sexually active
- Multiple sex partners
- Unprotected sex
- Sex with someone infected
- History of STI
You should go to a health clinic and get tested. Do not self diagnose or worse, self medicate.
An untreated or poorly treated STI could lead to even more severe complications
Complications of an untreated STIs
- Infertility (e.g gonorrhea, chlamydia…)
- Transmission to baby: infected child, still birth, low birth weight, premature, deformities
- Increased risk of contracting other STIs
- Resistance: making the infection more difficult to treat.
Medication Safety tips
- Get tested as soon as possible. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE
- Start treatment as soon as you tested positive. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE
- Get your partner(s) tested as well and have them start treatment too if positive.
- Buy medicines from an accredited pharmacy. DO NOT BUY FROM MEDICINE HAWKERS OR ROADSIDE SELLERS.
- Take medicines as prescribed.
- Read drug labels to be sure you are taking the right medicine at the right dose.
- Complete your treatment course even when you feel better.
- Do not take more than prescribed, thinking it will have a better effect
- In some cases, you will be advised to avoid sex until treatment completed.
- If taking antibiotics, avoid alcohol.
- Be aware of the side effects of the medicines
- For chronic infections like HIV
-Never wait to run out of your medicines before going for a refill.
-If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicines, check out these tips
Get tested again after treatment in 3 months to confirm treatment worked.
Prevention tips for STIs
- Practice safe sex (use a condom. PS other birth control methods do not protect against STIs)
- Limit sex partners
- Get tested and treated early.
Sharing is caring!
Do you have any more tips, questions or comments on how to safely take STI medication? Drop a comment.
Don’t forget to share this post!
About the author
Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.
Pingback: Ciprofloxacin: Uses, Direction, Side effects and Warnings - HILPharma