I just realized that my last post was a little lacking in terms of the “what to expect if you find out that you do have an STD” section. Rather than editing – which less people would see – I thought I’d add a few additional notes up here. They’re less big, cohesive statments like the ones made in the original post (you need to inform past/present/future partners, self-care is a good thing, etc) and more just a series of small tips, tricks, and things to note. This is by no means even close to comprehensive, and if you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, you ‘d do well to follow the advice of a trained professional rather than just relying on the ramblings of a nineteen-year-old blogger.
Without further ado:
1. HPV. If your doctor does a visual check and suspects an HPV infection, there are a few things you should do. One, you should try to get tested to see what specific strains you have, especially if your previous or current partner/s have had the Gardisil vaccine. Doing so could mean being able to tell whether or not you likely infected your partner as well.
Also, it’s worth getting the opinion of a dermatologist as well, especially if you’re male. There are several skin conditions that can look like genital warts, but are actually harmless and easy to remove. So, if your doctor suspects that you have genital warts, you should always get a second (or third) opinion, particularly if you don’t have a history with this paticular doctor. I can think of few things worse than freaking out over an incorrect diagnosis.
2. Anything bacterial (syphilis, chlamydia, gonhorrea, etc). If you are prescribed a course of antibiotics (rather than receiving them in the form of a shot), you absolutely need to finish all of the pills. Just like any other infection, you can’t stop taking the antibiotics just because the symptoms went away, otherwise the infection can return – and sometimes, can become resistant to the antibiotic you’re taking. Finish all the pills on the schedule recommended on the bottle. You’ll likely need to get re-tested later to make sure that the infection really is gone.
For those who’ve never taken antibiotics before, they can kinda kill your stomach, because they destroy the good bacteria that help you digest food along with whatever infection they’re meant to get rid of. What will help is, first of all, to always take the pill with food. I know that sounds counterintuitive – to eat more to avoid an upset stomach – but it really does help, even if it’s just a spoonful of peanut butter. Also, eat yogurt, especially the kind that says it has “active cultures” – it helps replace the bacteria in your intestines, which will help keep you from getting an upset stomach.
3. Herpes. It’s important to know that, even though there are medications to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and help prevent transmitting the virus to your partner, there’s actually no 100% effective method to ensure that you won’t give it to your partner (even if you’re not having an outbreak at the time of intercourse). The choice of whether or not to take such medication is 100% up to you; some people have very frequent outbreaks and benefit a lot from medication, others only have a few outbreaks in their lifetime and have no need for it.
4. HIV.Always, always, always re-test for this one. Though it’s statistically unlikely, there is the small chance of a false-positive or false-negative result. If your test shows up as positive, your doctor will almost certainly order additional testing to confirm the result. If he/she doesn’t, specifically request further testing…and, personally, I’d recommend doing so with a different doctor, as any medical professional who doesn’t double-check this sort of thing is more than a bit sketchy. With something this important, you really can’t afford to just rely on the result of one single test.
Okay, I think that pretty much covers the important things I glossed over before. Hopefully this was a helpful addition to the last post!