STD (STI): types, symptoms, tests, prevention, is there a cure?


What is STD?

STD is the acronym designated to define the term ” Sexually Transmitted Disease “. These are diseases or infections characterized by viruses, bacteria and other microbes that are transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse without the use of condoms with a person who is infected.

They usually manifest as wounds, discharge, blisters or warts , but they can have systemic effects, that is, affect the whole organism, such as HIV and syphilis .

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to stop using the acronym STD and adopted the use of STI, which concerns the same conditions, but which has a different meaning: Sexually Transmitted Infection .

The STDs or STIs best known to the general public are HPV , HIV, gonorrhea , chlamydia, syphilis, herpes and viral hepatitis, however, there is a huge variety of diseases that can be transmitted through sex.

Learn more about the main STDs in the text below!


Technically, the most correct term to be used is STI , which means “Sexually Transmitted Infection”, instead of STD, which, as we saw earlier, means “Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, however, the term STD has been conventionally used in Brazil.

In the past, the term STD was widely used, but it has fallen out of use, including by the WHO, as there is a subtle but significant difference between diseases and infections.

When talking about diseases, it is assumed that there are evident signs and symptoms, while in the case of infections, there are not necessarily manifestations. That is, as in most sexually transmitted conditions the individual may be infected and show no signs or symptoms, the most correct would be to use the term “Infection”.

Although this issue is still under discussion, we will predominantly use the term “STD” in this text because of the public’s greater familiarity with the old acronym.

Types of STDs

Contrary to what most people think, the range of sexually transmitted diseases is much broader and more diverse than simply HIV, herpes and syphilis. Understand more about each of them below:

Genital herpes

The genital herpes is an STI caused by the virus Herpes simplex type 1 or 2 (HSV-1 or HSV-2) and usually attack the skin or mucous membranes of the genitals. For this reason, it usually causes wounds, pain, itching and discomfort in the afflicted regions.

The transmission of this disease usually occurs when the disease is active, that is, when there are visible lesions in the genital region, however, it is possible that there is transmission when the infection is already in remission (when the wounds and ulcers have already disappeared), as there may be virus in the genital secretions of men and women.

It is estimated that approximately 70% of transmissions occur in the asymptomatic phase, since while the symptoms are manifesting, the patient usually avoids sexual intercourse.

According to the WHO, approximately 417 million people aged between 15 and 49 years have infection caused by the herpes virus.

This disease can be found in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) through code A.60 and in ICD-11, new edition of the Classification, through code 1F00.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of herpes are:

  • Emergence of wounds in the genital region;
  • Burning when urinating;
  • Burning and pain when defecating;
  • Groin tongue;
  • Tingling, itching and burning around the genitals;
  • Small clusters of blisters and wounds;
  • Reduced appetite;
  • Fever;
  • General malaise;
  • Muscle pains in the lower back, buttocks, thighs or knees;
  • Tiredness.


During unprotected sex, transmission of the two strains of virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2, can occur. Herpes caused by HSV-1, called cold sores , usually causes sores in the mouth, but it can reach the genitals if it is transmitted through oral sex. That is, the transmission of herpes, in general, can occur during unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex.

Transmission occurs mainly when a healthy person has direct contact with the skin of an infected person who has visible lesions, however, as shown by the data, approximately 70% of transmissions occur in asymptomatic cases, that is, when there are no apparent wounds.

In this way, we are able to reduce the causes of transmission to the causes:

  • By direct contact with wounds during herpes attacks;
  • Through saliva, if the partner has oral herpes;
  • For genital secretions if the partner has genital herpes;
  • By contact with the skin at the site where the infection occurred, whether genital or oral;
  • When sharing infected sex toys.


If not treated properly, herpes can bring some health problems to infected women and men. Among them, the main ones are:

  • Damage to the fetus : if the mother transmits the disease to the baby during pregnancy, brain damage, blindness and even the death of the child may occur;
  • Bladder problems : the disease causes sores in the urethra region, obstructing the urine output, and it is often necessary to use a catheter to perform drainage;
  • Meningitis : the herpes virus can cause inflammation in the meninges, a membrane responsible for protecting the brain and spinal cord;
  • Retitis : inflammation that occurs in the rectum, caused, most of the time, by sexual intercourse without the use of condoms;
  • More serious infections : The herpes virus can develop in much more serious places, such as the brain, eyes, esophagus, liver, spinal cord and lungs.


Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and is transmitted through contact with genital lesions, anus, rectum, lips or mouth, in addition to being transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy.

According to data from the Pan American Health Organization, in 2012 alone, mother-to-child transmission caused approximately 143,000 early fetal deaths or the birth of dead babies. The data point to 62 thousand neonatal deaths (up to 27 days after delivery) and 44 thousand premature births or underweight children.

The disease usually presents distinct phases, with specific symptoms, being divided into primary, secondary and tertiary syphilis. Usually, these phases are intermittent and there are periods of latency, that is, when the disease does not manifest itself.

Because of this, many patients may not even notice the progression of the condition, which causes the condition to be nicknamed “badly silent”.

In 2017, it was noticed that there was a significant increase in cases related to syphilis in Brazil. From 2010 to 2016, there was an increase of more than 5,000% in the number of diagnosed cases, with the number jumping from 1,249 in 2010 to 87,593 in 2016.

Therefore, it is essential to invest in access to benzathine penicillin, the antibiotic that allows us to achieve a cure for the disease. The WHO, for example, considers that it is vitally important for the health of the population and children who are yet to be born that governments invest in initiatives to end their scarcity, which has only increased with the years.

But more efficient than treating the disease is to focus on prevention. In addition to being much cheaper, the experiences of countries that prioritize disease prevention, as in the case of Cuba, Canada and England, have shown to be significantly more effective in the eradication of many pathologies.

Main symptoms

Syphilis symptoms will vary according to the stage of the disease.

When it is still in its initial stage, that is, when it is primary syphilis , there is the appearance of hard cancer, small reddish lesions on the genitals and in the mouth. This wound is usually unique, appearing at the site of entry of the bacteria.

It does not usually cause pain, nor does it burn or generate pus, and it may be accompanied by lumps (nausea) in the groin.

On the other hand, when it is in the secondary phase, which occurs 6 to 8 weeks after the disappearance of the lesions caused by primary syphilis, new lesions start to appear, this time spread over the skin and in Organs internal organs.

The main symptoms of secondary syphilis are:

  • Red spots on the skin, mouth, nose, palms and soles;
  • Skin peeling;
  • Lingua (lumps), especially in the genital region;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Sore throat;
  • Malaise;
  • Mild fever (below 38ºC);
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Weight loss.

This phase usually lasts for 2 years and appears in the form of outbreaks that regress spontaneously, but that become more and more lasting.

The tertiary syphilis , on the other hand, appears only in patients who have failed to fight with effectiveness the disease in its secondary phase or that have not made the appropriate treatment. The main symptoms of this stage are:

  • Lesions on the skin, mouth and nose;
  • Problems with internal organs (heart, nerves, bones, muscles, liver and blood vessels);
  • Constant headache;
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting;
  • Neck stiffness;
  • Convulsions;
  • Hearing Loss;
  • Vertigo;
  • Insomnia;
  • Stroke;
  • Exaggerated reflexes;
  • Dilated pupils;
  • Delusions and hallucinations;
  • Decrease in recent memory;
  • Decreased cognitive functions.


The main form of transmission of syphilis is through unprotected sex with an infected person. The risks of contamination are greater when there are wounds in the vagina or penis, as it facilitates the passage of the bacteria into the blood.

If there are sores on the mouth or on the skin, syphilis can be transmitted through kissing or contact with lesions. During pregnancy, women who have not treated syphilis are at risk of passing the disease on to the fetus ( congenital syphilis ).

In some cases, the infection can be transmitted through contaminated objects, such as tattoo needles, syringes, transfusions and organ donations or sex toys.


If left untreated, syphilis can evolve and spread throughout the body, causing serious complications, in addition to increasing the risk of HIV infection and, in women, causing complications in pregnancy.

Check out some of the main complications:

  • Swelling on the skin, bones, liver and other organs, which may develop into tumors, if they do not receive the necessary attention;
  • Neurological problems, such as stroke, meningitis, deafness, vision problems and dementia;
  • Aneurysm and inflammation of the aorta and other arteries and blood vessels.

During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for the infected woman to pass the disease on to the baby, which increases the risk of miscarriage and death during pregnancy or after the first days of life.


Gonorrhea is a very common STI and is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae , also known as Gonocco . The main areas affected by this microorganism are the genitals, the rectum and the throat, but it can also affect the eyes.

This bacteria usually proliferates in humid and hot environments, which facilitates growth in places such as the urethra, rectum and vagina, however, contrary to what many imagine, it is not transmitted through ejaculation.

The infection usually causes symptoms such as burning when urinating, urethral or vaginal discharge, itching, rashes and bleeding. When it is not treated properly, it can have serious complications such as meningitis , blood disorders and even infertility.

It is estimated that the chances of transmission during sexual intercourse are 50% to 70%. It can be found in CID 10 through code A54 and in CID 11 with code 1A70.

Main symptoms

The main male symptoms are:

  • Burning when urinating;
  • Urethral discharge;
  • Painful bowel movements;
  • Itch;
  • Eruptions;
  • Hemorrhages.

In women, the main symptoms are:

  • Vaginal itching;
  • Burning when urinating;
  • Pain during sex;
  • Vaginal discharge;
  • Escape of vaginal blood.


Gonorrhea is transmitted especially through sexual intercourse. However, even in contact with the bacteria, the chances of transmission during sexual intercourse are 50% to 70%. If the relationship is repeated unprotected, the chances of transmission rise to 90% to 100%.

In many cases, such as breaking a condom, it is quite possible that the healthy individual comes into contact with the bacteria, but does not develop the disease.

Gonorrhea can also be transmitted vertically, that is, from the mother to the baby during delivery and, although very rare, it is possible that the transmission also happens through sharing towels or underwear.


If not treated properly, gonorrhea can have serious complications for both men and women. Check out the main ones:

  • Infectious arthritis;
  • Meningitis;
  • Osteomyelitis (infection of the bones);
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart valves);
  • Hepatitis;
  • Skin lesions;
  • Epididymitis (Inflammation at the back of the testicle).

In women, other complications can also occur, such as:

  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb);
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID);
  • Premature birth;
  • Infection of the newborn.

In both cases, men and women, for different reasons, if left untreated, the disease can lead to infertility.


Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, being one of the most common STDs in the world. According to the WHO, approximately 92 million people are infected with this bacterium every year.

Although quite common and can have severe consequences, such as infertility, the disease is easy to treat and prevent.

This infection often causes no symptoms. It is estimated that only 30% of infected men and 10% of women have symptoms, however, in cases where there is a manifestation, they are different according to the patient’s sex.

In men, it usually causes discharge of pus through the urethra, pain in the testicles and burning sensation when urinating, while in women it causes vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, pain during sex and vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period.

This STI is curable and involves treatment with antibiotics , which easily solve the problem.

The disease can be found at ICD 10 using the code A55 and ICD 11 using the code XN4Q4.

Main symptoms

Like gonorrhea, the symptoms of chlamydia are divided between men and women. In men, the symptoms are usually:

  • Discharge of pus through the urethra;
  • Sore testicles;
  • Swelling in the scrotum;
  • Burning or pain when urinating.

On the other hand, women often have:

  • Vaginal discharge;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period;
  • Pain during sex;
  • Burning or pain when urinating.


There are two ways that chlamydia transmission occurs: through sex (vaginal, oral or anal sex) and during the baby’s passage through the vaginal canal at the time of delivery. In adults and adolescents, transmission is exclusively sexual.

Therefore, it is necessary to clarify that kissing does not transmit chlamydia, just as it is not possible to acquire it when using public bathrooms or swimming pools.

Transmission through shared objects, such as towels, has not yet been confirmed, but it is theoretically possible if there are secretions in the tissue and the sharing is immediate.

Chlamydia can still affect the eyes if the hands are contaminated with secretions and there is direct contact.


If not treated correctly, serious consequences can occur, as the organism becomes fully infected by the bacteria. The main complications include:

  • Epididymitis : inflammation in the epididymis, which are microscopic vessels that transport maturing sperm out of the testicles. This inflammation can cause male infertility;
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) : occurs when the bacteria reaches the uterine tubes, increasing the chances of ectopic pregnancy (outside the uterus) and infertility;
  • Orchitis : an inflammation in the testicles that can be caused by inflammation caused by bacteria;
  • Urethritis : inflammation of the urethra. If left untreated, it can lead to a narrowing of the urethra (urethral stenosis);
  • Trachoma : infection of the eyelids, conjunctiva and corneas (all structures of the eyes). If left untreated, it can lead to blindness;
  • Prostatitis : when inflammation of the prostate occurs due to bacterial infection;
  • Bartolinitis : this is the inflammation and infection of the vaginal lubrication glands, with the possibility of the appearance of abscesses full of pus in the region;
  • Cervicitis : an infection in the cervix (cervix) that can lead to back pain and vaginal discharge;
  • Reactive arthritis : when the bacteria is transported to the joints, causing infections and inflammation in these regions.


HPV gets its name because of the virus that causes the disease, the Human Papiloma Virus , or Human Papilloma Virus , in Portuguese. It is also known as Rooster Crest and is considered the most common STI in the world.

There are more than 200 types of HPV. While most do not cause problems, there are variations that can cause warts and even influence cancer development . Statistics show that more than 95% of cervical cancer cases are linked to HPV.

The main way to protect yourself from infection is through vaccination. Through it, it is possible to guarantee protection of up to 98% against types 6, 11, 16 and 18 of the virus.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of HPV are:

  • Common warts;
  • Fisheye corns;
  • Flat warts;
  • Genital warts;
  • Lesions in the anus;
  • Genital cancer;
  • Verruciform epidermodysplasia;
  • Oral papillomas;
  • Cancer of the oropharynx;
  • Verrucous cyst;
  • Respiratory papillomatosis.


As a rule, HPV is transmitted through unprotected sex with infected people. It is estimated that 10% of girls will have contact with the virus in the first sexual intercourse, and the disease can affect the genitals, anus and throat.

The contact of fingers, hands or skin in general with the infected genitalia facilitates contagion because it can spread the lesion from one place on the body to another or from one person to another.

At the time of delivery, it is also possible for the mother to transmit the disease to the baby, which is called vertical transmission.

There is still no scientific evidence that sharing intimate objects, such as underwear, towels and blades can be a form of transmission.

Transfusion of contaminated blood can also be one of the forms of HPV transmission. Despite this possibility, this type of event is quite rare.


Among the main complications of the disease are aesthetic damage, as warts are not at all beautiful, and the risk of cancer is increased, especially that of the cervix, which is closely related to the disease.

Viral hepatitis

Hepatitis refers to any inflammation in the liver, acute or chronic, which can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, alcohol abuse, medication, drugs, hereditary diseases or autoimmune diseases .

It is divided into 5 subtypes, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, but those that can be characterized as STD are only B and D.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B is transmitted by HBV or HBV, acronym for Hepatitis B Virus , Hepatitis B Virus , or in Portuguese.

The virus can attack the liver cells directly or manipulate the defense cells, when, in fighting the infectious process, they end up causing inflammation in the organ.

It is estimated that, in places with the highest incidence, 8% to 25% of people have the virus and 60% to 85% have already been exposed to it. In Brazil, 15% of the population has already been infected and 1% is a chronic carrier.

The WHO provides an estimate that says that approximately 2 million people die each year from complications of the disease.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms caused by hepatitis B are:

  • Fever;
  • Fatigue;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Joint pain;
  • Jaundice (yellowish color on the skin and eyes);
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Widespread malaise;
  • Dark colored urine;
  • Light colored stools.

If not treated properly, hepatitis can have several complications, such as:

  • Evolution to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer;
  • Ascites (or water belly);
  • Digestive bleeding;
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis;
  • Hepatic encephalopathy.

Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C is not exactly considered an STD or STI, however, transmission can occur through sexual intercourse between men since in the presence of HIV infection.

According to WHO, about 3% of the population is infected with the hepatitis C virus. This represents an additional 150 million individuals. Approximately 20% of cases are of acute hepatitis, while 70% to 80% of cases are of chronic hepatitis.

This is a recent and growing epidemic. It is estimated that the prevalence of this disease will continue to grow to reach its peak in the year 2040. Therefore, preventive measures need to be taken, or the prevalence of the disease in the population can bring complications to public health at unsustainable levels.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of hepatitis C are:

  • Tiredness;
  • Malaise;
  • Lethargy;
  • Dizziness;
  • Feeling sick;
  • Vomiting;
  • Fever;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Yellow skin and eyes;
  • Dark urine;
  • Light stools.

If left untreated, the disease can lead to liver complications or develop and cause problems in other organs, causing:

  • Emergence of lymphoma;
  • Pulmonary fibrosis;
  • Corneal ulcer;
  • Autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid;
  • Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis;
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Other complications include:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • Hepatical cirrhosis;
  • Cystitis;
  • Digestive bleeding;
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis;
  • Hepatic encephalopathy.

Hepatitis D

Like other hepatitis, hepatitis D, also called Delta, is caused by the D virus, but it requires the presence of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) to infect a person.

Like hepatitis B, its transmission occurs due to unprotected sex with infected people, from an infected mother to a child during pregnancy, sharing of needles or blood transfusion.

It may show no signs or symptoms and its severity depends on the time of infection. It can occur simultaneously with hepatitis B infection or attack chronic HBV carriers (who have been infected for more than 6 months).

Main symptoms

Most of the time, hepatitis D manifests itself in a very similar way to hepatitis B. Its main symptoms are:

  • Tiredness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Feeling sick;
  • Vomiting;
  • Fever;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Yellow skin and eyes;
  • Dark urine;
  • Light stools.

If not treated properly, hepatitis D can lead to the following complications:

  • Cirrhosis;
  • Liver cancer;
  • Liver disease.

Mole cancer

Soft cancer is an STD caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi .

It is categorized by wounds in the genital region of irregular shape, which arise from 3 to 5 days after unprotected relationship with the infected person. Because it is a bacterium, its treatment involves the use of antibiotics.

Wounds can occur on the male and female genitals, on the anus, lips, mouth and throat. The regions most commonly affected are the brake on the head of the penis and the inside of the labia majora in women.

In spite of all this, women can often not even show symptoms of the disease and only discover that they have the infection during a routine examination.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of soft cancer usually appear within 2 to 5 days after infection and are manifested as follows:

  • Emergence of 1 or 2 pus wounds;
  • After a few days, a moist and very painful wound is formed, spreading and increasing in size and depth;
  • Other wounds appear around the first;
  • After 2 weeks of infection, a red and painful lump may appear in the groin (nausea), which can compromise the movement of the legs if not treated properly. The lump can open and expel thick, greenish pus and mixed with blood.

These symptoms are also usually accompanied by:

  • Fever;
  • Headache;
  • Weakness.


Soft cancer is transmitted through sexual contact as an infected person and is independent of ejaculation, which can occur in vaginal, oral and anal sex. Direct contact with the lesions can also transmit the disease.


Unlike other infections, soft cancer does not usually cause infertility, as many people believe.

However, the infection can affect the lymph nodes, small bean- shaped glands distributed throughout the body. They are responsible for helping the immune system to function by filtering lymph (liquid from the blood that carries white blood cells), removing viruses and bacteria that are harmful to the body.

When infections happen in the lymph nodes, the patient may have a hard time recovering from illnesses, since his immune system is compromised.


HTLV is an infection caused by the human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) and specifically targets the body’s defense cells, especially T lymphocytes.

It was the first human retrovirus to be isolated, only in the early 1980s, and is classified into 2 main groups, HTLV-I and HTLV-II.

A retrovirus is a type of virus that has RNA and not DNA as genetic material. Retroviruses reproduce inside the cell through a process called reverse transcriptase, in which the RNA is transformed into DNA and goes to the cell nucleus.

Once the viral DNA produced by reverse transcriptase is found in the cell’s nucleus, the cell itself begins to produce viral RNA, reproducing the virus. This system is used by countless other viruses such as HIV itself.

Main symptoms

In most cases, patients infected with HTLV end up not developing symptoms, however, approximately 10% of infected people usually have some form of the disease.

When the first symptoms appear, they are very similar to those of other neurological diseases and include:

  • Pain in the potatoes of the feet;
  • Pains in the lumbar spine;
  • Weakness;
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower limbs;
  • Urinary problems (such as incontinence).

In addition, a small group of infected people can develop serious problems, such as some types of cancer, muscle problems, in the joints, in the lungs, in the skin, in the eye region and in Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that destroys the tear-producing glands and Spittle.


HTLV is transmitted through unprotected sex with the infected person, blood transfusions, and sharing infected syringes or needles. It can also be transmitted vertically, that is, from the infected mother to the newborn during delivery or at the time of breastfeeding.


In more severe cases, severe clinical manifestations can occur, such as the development of some types of cancer, leukemias and lymphomas, in addition to a series of pulmonary, dermatological, ophthalmic, urological and joint problems.

In cases where leukemia or lymphoma occurs, the most common symptoms are:

  • Skin lesions;
  • Flaking;
  • Infarcted ganglia;
  • Visual and bone changes.

Other complications include:

  • Arthropathies;
  • Dermatitis.


HIV is probably the most well-known virus after the flu virus . Despite being present in the popular imagination, it is very important to differentiate between AIDS and HIV.

When we talk about HIV, we are referring to the retrovirus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). When we talk about AIDS, on the other hand, we are talking about the disease, its signs, symptoms and consequences for the organism.

Remember that we talked about the difference between STI and STD? In this case, this differentiation comes in handy.

In general, it is possible to affirm that HIV infection would be an STI, since it is an infection and that it does not necessarily manifest symptoms (as long as the treatment is being followed correctly) and when we are talking about AIDS, we refer to an STD, since there is a manifestation of symptoms.

Unfortunately, there is still no cure for HIV infection, but the use of medications can significantly slow the progression and proliferation of the virus, preventing it from developing into AIDS.

AIDS, in turn, happens when the HIV carrier has a part of his immune system damaged by the virus, which interferes with the body’s ability to fight some pathogens (disease-causing organisms), leaving the person more susceptible to infections.

Freddie Mercury, Cazuza, Renato Russo and even basketball player Magic Johnson were infected by the virus. Unfortunately, these big names in music were unable to live long enough to have access to the treatments we have today, and died as a result of the disease.

Magic Johnson, on the other hand, had access to current treatments and today is a major militant in the cause, as he maintains and, some would say, even waste his health.

However, this does not mean that it is not necessary to protect yourself from the virus, quite the contrary. The patient with HIV is obliged to follow a regulated and healthy routine, and many of the medications used have side effects that can be quite unpleasant. Therefore, always use a condom .


HIV transmission occurs through unprotected sex with infected partners, blood transfusions and the sharing of contaminated syringes and needles. It can also happen in a vertical manner, that is, from mother to child at the time of delivery or else during breastfeeding.

However, even pregnant or lactating women can have a treatment to decrease their viral load (amount of virus in the blood), decreasing the chances of infecting their child.

For people who are more likely to come into contact with the virus, SUS still offers Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). It is a method in which the patient must take two medications daily in order to prevent HIV from infecting the body (before contact with the virus).

To find out who is entitled to the service and how to receive treatment, consult the nearest health facility or check the list of places that offer PrEP throughout Brazil.

Main symptoms

When we talk about the symptoms of HIV, we are not talking about the symptoms of AIDS. AIDS is a systemic effect of HIV infection. Therefore, we will mention in this topic the main symptoms related to the first contamination of the virus.

Most people infected with HIV do not begin to develop symptoms until about 1 or 2 months after exposure to the retrovirus. The symptoms are usually very similar to those of a cold or flu .

This phase is known as the primary or acute phase, and can last up to a few weeks. It is very dangerous, as it may not be perceived by the carrier, causing the viral load (amount of virus in the blood) to rise to worrying levels.

After that period, the symptoms can disappear. The HIV virus can remain innocuous for several years until the infection is diagnosed.

The main symptoms that appear at the time the person was infected are:

  • Fever;
  • Malaise;
  • Red spots on the body;
  • Increased lymph nodes and the appearance of linguals;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Emergence of skin rashes;
  • Chills;
  • Sore throat;
  • Oral or genital ulcers;
  • Joint pain;
  • Night sweating;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Cough.


As stated earlier, the main complication of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, AIDS.

When contamination by the HIV retrovirus worsens and there is a very large increase in viral load, the immune system as a whole is compromised. That’s because the retrovirus attacks T lymphocytes, one of the body’s main defense cells.

Among the whole categorical variety of lymphocytes, T lymphocytes are precisely those that have the function of identifying some types of external agents and “warning” the immune system that an infection exists.

Therefore, when these cells are attacked and die, the body is completely unprotected for some types of microorganisms , as it has just lost its messenger. In this way, opportunistic diseases, such as pneumonia , can develop and end up with fatal consequences.

The main symptoms that a person with AIDS may have are:

  • Persistent fatigue;
  • Chills;
  • Slimming;
  • Night sweating;
  • Fever above 38 ºC for several weeks;
  • Increased lymph nodes or the emergence of lymph nodes;
  • Chronic diarrhea;
  • Oral candidiasis (also called thrush, consists of the appearance of white spots or lesions on the mouth and tongue);
  • Blurred or distorted vision;
  • Rash or swelling.

These conditions can also worsen much more due to the absence or inadequate treatment, as well as the delay in diagnosis. In addition, as we saw earlier, a major concern of AIDS is with opportunistic diseases. If the patient’s immune system is severely compromised, it is possible that a simple flu virus infection will lead to death.

Mycoplasma genitalium

The Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria that gives name to the disease that can attack the male and female reproductive system, causing persistent inflammation in the urethra and into the uterus.

Recently, this bacterium has caused a lot of concern in the medical community, as it is resistant to some types of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections and, when a species of bacteria becomes very resistant to different types of antibiotics, the alert levels increase significantly, as we may be facing the threat of a superbug.

Superbacteria are resistant to antibiotics, so treating diseases caused by this variety of organisms becomes much more difficult than before.

The main reason for the appearance of superbugs is the inappropriate use of antibiotics and this has everything to do with a process described by Charles Darwin in the middle of the 19th century, in his book The Origin of Species: natural selection.

Explaining in a very simplified way, when we do not take antibiotics correctly, that is, when we drink during the treatment or when we take the medicine only until the most uncomfortable symptoms have passed and we do not follow the treatment indicated by the doctor (which can sometimes take weeks) we ended up artificially selecting antibiotic resistant bacteria.

By “artificial selection” we mean that, by taking the antibiotic in the wrong way, we end up causing only a small group of stronger bacteria to survive. These bacteria reproduce, giving rise to others that are also more resistant, causing a worse infection and not responding to previous treatment.

This alone represents a big problem when we are talking about the treatment of a single individual, because the antibiotics that previously worked will no longer work, however, it becomes even more serious when we take into account that the individual infected with the superbug can transmit it for healthy people.

Then, this problem that seems to be individual, can escalate until it becomes a challenge for public health, since more and more people are infected with superbugs.

Therefore, always take your antibiotics following your doctor’s recommendations. In doing so, you take care of not only your health, but the health of the entire community.

Main symptoms

In men, infection with Mycoplasma genitalium can lead to the presence of watery discharge on the penis and, in the case of women, cause bleeding outside the menstrual period. Other characteristic and common symptoms for both men and women are:

  • Pain and burning when urinating;
  • Pain during sex;
  • Pain in the pelvic region;
  • Fever.


The Mycoplasma genitalium is transmitted through sexual contact with infected partner. The person infected with the disease continues to transmit until antibiotic treatment is done.


If left untreated, Mycoplasma genitalium infection can have serious consequences for both men and women.

In the case of men, in addition to inflammation of the urethra , inflammation of the testicles and prostate may occur, which is directly associated with infertility and the subsequent development of cancer in these regions.

Women, on the other hand, may have complications that consist of inflammation of the uterus, cervicitis, urethritis , and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

In addition, the risks of ectopic pregnancy (outside the womb) are greater, as are those of premature birth and infertility.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection that starts in the vagina and can progress to reach the uterus, tubes and ovaries, and can even get worse and reach the abdomen.

It is more common in adolescents and young women who are sexually active and maintain the habit of washing the vagina internally (intimate shower).

From this list, it is considered an ambiguous disease, as it can be both sexually transmitted and caused by a complication of endometriosis , which is when the tissue of the endometrium grows outside the uterus.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms caused by Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are:

  • Fever of 38 ºC or more;
  • Belly pain during palpation;
  • Vaginal bleeding outside menstrual periods;
  • Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse;
  • Yellow or greenish discharge with a bad smell;
  • Pain during intimate contact and especially during menstruation.


Infection can happen through contact with bacteria during unprotected sex. It occurs mainly in women who have another untreated STD, especially gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Although more rare, transmission can also occur after some local medical procedure, such as the insertion of an Intrauterine Device (IUD), biopsy inside the uterus or curettage .


When not treated properly, PID can cause other problems, such as:

  • Obstruction of the fallopian tubes;
  • Peritonitis (abdominal inflammation);
  • Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome (infection of the tissues around the liver);
  • Abscesses;
  • Adhesions (formation of scar tissues in Organs reproductive organs);
  • Ectopic pregnancy.


Ebola is a disease caused by viruses of the Ebola genus and its main characteristic is hemorrhagic fever , which causes bleeding in the internal organs of patients.

It is a serious and often fatal disease, with lethality rates that can reach 90% depending on the species of virus responsible for the contagion and the public health and basic sanitation conditions in the region where the contagion occurred.

It is not exactly an STD, but it can be classified as one, as its transmission is closely related to direct contact with blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.

Therefore, if a patient has an Ebola infection, he can pass it on to his partner through sex.

It is common in recently deforested regions, especially on the African continent. In these regions, people eventually come into contact with contaminated animals, when they do not kill them and use them as food.

Therefore, in order to prevent this virus from spreading and reaching more people, far greater efforts will be required to provide infrastructure, basic sanitation and quality food to the African populations in these regions, which are most affected by this disease.

In Brazil, there is no natural circulation of the Ebola virus in wild animals, and according to the Ministry of Health, the risk of an outbreak of the disease in the country is considered low.

The biggest concern concerns travelers who have returned from countries belonging to areas at risk and who have any suspicious symptoms. In these cases, it is essential to seek medical help so that preventive control measures are adopted, including the announcement to health authorities.

Main symptoms

The first symptoms of an infection with the Ebola virus are very similar to those of dengue . Among them, the following stand out:

  • Sudden onset of fever;
  • Intense weakness;
  • Muscle aches;
  • Headache;
  • Pain and inflammation in the throat.

Subsequently, with the evolution of the disease, the patient starts to present:

  • Vomiting;
  • Itches;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Liver dysfunction;
  • Rash;
  • Renal insufficiency;
  • Reddish eyes;
  • Hemorrhage both internal and external.

All of these symptoms together are very debilitating to the health of the patient in general, who can lose weight and become malnourished.


The main form of transmission of Ebola is through contact with fluids from the infected person. Contact with contaminated blood, vomiting, feces or saliva is primarily responsible for the speed at which this infection spreads.

However, ebola can also be transmitted through sex, when the patient is asymptomatic. That is why it can be considered an STD.


Mortality related to infection by the Ebola virus is high, ranging from 50% to 90%, in more extreme cases. This alarmingly high mortality rate is explained by the action of the virus on the immune system, that is, immunity is compromised and the body finds it difficult to deal with the infection.

When an infected person survives, his recovery is usually quick and complete. It is through these cured patients that doctors produce the treatment. It works similarly to the antidote for snake venom, in which horses’ antibodies are used to treat humans.

In the case of Ebola, antibodies from humans who have survived the disease are used in patients who have just acquired the disease.

When treatment is not possible or when it does not work, a series of complications can happen, such as:

  • Inflammation of the testicles;
  • Joint pain;
  • Convulsions;
  • Delirium;
  • With the;
  • Shock;
  • Muscle aches;
  • Multiple organ failure;
  • Exfoliation of the skin;
  • Severe bleeding;
  • Hair loss.

In addition, patients may suffer from eye symptoms, such as:

  • Sensitivity to light;
  • Epiphora (changes in tearing);
  • Uveitis (eye inflammation);
  • Chorioretinitis (inflammation of the layers of the eyes);
  • Blindness.

Even people who have survived the most severe stage of the infection can still have complications, sometimes taking months to regain their lost weight. In addition, they may feature:

  • Sensory changes;
  • Headache;
  • Hepatitis;
  • Weakness;
  • Fatigue;
  • Inflammation of the eyes.


Also known as inguinal granuloma , donovanosis is caused by a bacterium called Calymatobacterium granulomatis . Its incidence among STDs is approximately 5% and begins with the formation of a wound that grows slowly at the infection site.

It is prevalent in subtropical countries and tends to reach black people more often, especially those in the 20-40 age group.

The disease is diagnosed through laboratory tests, such as biopsy of the compromised tissue, making it possible to identify the bacteria and assess the extent of the problem.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of donovanosis usually appear between 30 days and 6 months after infection, causing the diagnosis to be delayed, which, in turn, further delays treatment and cure.

Among the main symptoms are:

  • Emergence of lumps or wounds in the pelvic area and genitals;
  • Bright red wounds, which grow and can bleed easily;
  • Ulcers;
  • Wounds with a well-defined aspect and that do not hurt.


The main form of transmission of donovanosis is through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. It is believed to occur exclusively because of direct contact with wounds or ulcers during sexual intercourse.

The subject, however, is still controversial, as there are cases in children and sexually inactive people, which excludes the possibility of exclusively sexual transmission.


If not treated properly, donovanosis can cause complications such as:

  • Genital deformities;
  • Elephantiasis;
  • Emergence of tumors.

Venereal lymphogranuloma

Venereal lymphogranuloma is an STD caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and causes painless, fluid-filled wounds in the intimate region. Also known as Nicolas-Favre’s disease , mule and bubo , the disease often goes unnoticed by its carriers.

It is endemic in parts of Africa, India, Southeast Asia, South America and the Caribbean, being more frequently diagnosed in men than in women.

Main symptoms

Symptoms begin to manifest between 1 and 3 weeks after infection. It starts with painless wounds and often goes unnoticed. Subsequently, they return with an inflamed aspect and are accompanied by:

  • Malaise;
  • Fever;
  • Vomiting;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Slimming;
  • Headache, back and joints;
  • Night sweat;
  • Inflammation in the rectum;
  • Inflamed tongues.


The transmission of venereal lymphogranuloma occurs through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person and is more prevalent generally in tropical and subtropical areas.


If not treated properly, inflamed tongues may evolve, causing their spontaneous rupture with the release of pus.


The Trichomoniasis is a genital infection caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, which also receives the name of trichomoniasis or trichomoniasis .

It usually affects women more and settles in the vagina or urethra, and can also be found in other parts of the genitourinary system. It is responsible for about 10% to 15% of STDs in developed countries.

As occurs inside the vagina, it usually causes microlesions and pain, and tends to be asymptomatic in men. The disease affects about 170 million people around the world.

Main symptoms

Again, this is an STD that manifests itself differently in men and women.

Women may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Yellow or greenish-yellow discharge;
  • Itching of the sexual organs;
  • Strong and unpleasant odor;
  • Vulvar irritation;
  • Genital redness;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Pain during sexual intercourse;
  • Burning and difficulty urinating.

In men, on the other hand, the most common symptoms are:

  • Irritation on the inside of the penis (urethritis);
  • Light frothy discharge, reminiscent of pus;
  • Urinate more times a day, especially in the mornings;
  • Burning when urinating or ejaculating.

Read more: Is yellow discharge normal?


Transmission of trichomoniasis occurs sexually, but usually spreads from a penis to a vagina or from a vagina to a penis, and it is not common for it to infect other parts of the body such as the hands, mouth or anus.

It is still not completely understood why some people have symptoms or others do not, but it is already known that it is possible for an asymptomatic infected person to transmit the disease.


If left untreated, trichomoniasis can have complications such as:

  • Infertility;
  • Cervical cancer;
  • Premature birth;
  • Urinary infection;
  • Favoring HIV infection.


Although this issue is controversial, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in English ” Center of Disease Control and Prevention “), the main health agency in the United States, considers that Zika can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

In this case, then, the person can be infected during sexual intercourse (including vaginal, anal, oral sex and the sharing of toys) even in stable relationships, in which they have unique partners.

It is not yet known exactly how long men and women act as transmitters of the virus, since the permanence of the Zika virus in semen is significantly longer than in other body fluids.

It should also be noted that even people who do not have symptoms can transmit the disease sexually.

The Zika virus became known in Brazil and in the world in 2015, when the country suffered from the outbreak of the disease, which is also transmissible through the bites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito , the same responsible for dengue and yellow fever .

In the case of pregnant women, the disease has an aggravating effect, as it can be transmitted from the mother to the child and trigger microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than normal, often affecting the neurological development of the child.

Main symptoms

The symptoms of Zika are very similar to symptoms of common dengue and start about 3 to 12 days after the mosquito bite. Most individuals (about 80%) have no symptoms. However, when they appear, the symptoms are usually:

  • Low fever (between 37.5 ºC and 38.5 ºC);
  • Joint pain;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Headache and behind the eyes;
  • Rashes accompanied by itching;
  • Conjunctivitis.

There are also other rarer symptoms that can happen:

  • Abdominal pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Cold;
  • Photophobia;
  • Small ulcers on the oral mucosa.

These symptoms tend to prevail for 2 and 7 days and, in occasional cases, the pain in the joints can extend for up to 1 entire month.


The main form of transmission of the Zika virus is through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito , however, although it is rare, sexual transmission can happen and has already been registered, and therefore falls within the category of STDs.


The main complications involving the Zika virus are microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

It is not yet known exactly how Zika can cause microcephaly, as this relationship was only established after the outbreak that happened in Brazil in 2015. Therefore, since we do not know at what stage of pregnancy, infection with the virus can cause birth defects, it is important that pregnant women protect themselves from mosquitoes throughout pregnancy.

Guillain-Barré syndrome, on the other hand, is a disease characterized by the attack of the immune system against the individual’s own nerve cells. It usually appears after infection, and with Zika it is no different.


As each disease is caused by a type of organism, they require a different type of examination to be identified. Check now the main STDs and the tests used to diagnose them:


It is possible to identify the infection lesions through routine examinations such as:

  • Pap smear;
  • Colposcopy;
  • Vulvoscopy;
  • Peniscopy;
  • Anuscopy.

Other ways of diagnosing the disease are the PCR genetic test and the hybrid capture test . They identify the presence of the virus or its genetic content in the tissue studied.

Tests such as PCR and hybrid capture can provide information such as type, viral load and check whether HPV is oncogenic, that is, whether it is cancerous.

The investigation should be done as soon as the infection is suspected, as it may be incubated for years before it starts to manifest symptoms.


The most used way to diagnose HIV is the anti-HIV test and the ELISA (enzyme immunoassay). These tests seek to identify the presence of the virus by means of its genetic content or by the presence of antibodies and viral RNA in the blood.

In addition, it is possible to carry out tests free of charge through the Unified Health System and pharmacies, which use drops of blood or saliva as a sample.

When an anti-HIV antibody is found in the blood, an additional test , called a confirmatory test , is necessary .

Examinations should be performed after 3 weeks or up to 3 months after the risk relationship.

Although it is not exactly a means of diagnosis, it is also possible to identify the presence of the virus when making a blood donation. The test is done as a preventive measure and can point out the infection.


The main tests to identify gonorrhea are through bacterioscopy, culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for gonococcus (gonorrhea bacteria) in urethral, ​​vaginal or anal secretion.

Bacterioscopy and culture allow the visualization of bacteria present in the secretion, while PCR seeks to find the genetic material of the bacterium.

It is possible to perform the exams between 2 or 3 days after unprotected intercourse or as soon as the secretion appears.


Syphilis can be identified through the following tests:

  • Blood test;
  • Bacteria culture;
  • Lumbar puncture.

These tests indicate the presence of antibodies against the bacterium or the presence of it in the secretions of the lesions. Lumbar puncture is only performed in cases where there is a suspicion that the patient has neurological complications caused by syphilis.


The main tests used to identify chlamydia are:

  • Serology;
  • CRP in the urine, injury or secretion.

These tests indicate the presence of antibodies or genetic material from the bacterium in the blood or secretion. After a few days of the suspicion or the appearance of the symptoms it is already possible to do the exams.

Genital herpes

In many cases, only the simple physical exam is already able to diagnose the problem, but the doctor may choose to perform some tests to make sure of the diagnosis.

Such tests are blood tests, which look for antibodies to the genital herpes virus, and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), which detects the presence of the virus’s genetic material.


The diagnosis of hepatitis can be made in several ways. Physical and blood tests can be ordered to check for the presence of hepatitis and to specify which type. The main tests used for diagnosis are:

  • Viral antibody testing;
  • Blood tests (AST and ALT);
  • Liver function tests;
  • Abdominal ultrasound;
  • Physical exam.

Mole cancer

The diagnosis of soft cancer is usually made through the signs seen in the clinical picture, that is, the doctor will evaluate all the symptoms, the patient’s history and the visible signs of the disease.

It is also possible to make the diagnosis by collecting the ulcer material for culture or PCR. However, the two methods are not so simple and are not always available in all laboratories.


In most cases, HTLV carriers find that they have the disease by chance during a blood test. However, like HIV, the definitive diagnosis is only established after the ELISA and Western-bolt tests, specific for this type of retrovirus, have been performed.

Mycoplasma genitalium

The only method with real effectiveness to diagnose Mycoplasma genitalium is the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

In order to make the diagnosis of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease it is necessary to have a physical exam that includes the pelvic exam. It is necessary to collect a sample of the cervix to exclude other possibilities.

If necessary, an ultrasound of the pelvis is performed, which can detect abscesses in the tubes and ovaries or the presence of an ectopic pregnancy (outside the uterus).

If the diagnosis is still uncertain, the doctor may order a laparoscopy (abdominal endoscopy) to confirm the suspicions.


The diagnosis of Ebola is quite complicated because, when analyzing only the symptoms, it is possible that the medical team is suspicious of other diseases such as cholera , hepatitis, malaria , meningitis and typhoid, which have very similar symptoms.

As the virus is isolated in some parts of the world, it is difficult for Ebola to emerge as a suspect. However, if this happens, the medical team can do the ELISA test to identify the presence of the Ebola virus.

If diagnosed, the person should be isolated from the public immediately to prevent the virus from spreading.


First, the doctor will suspect that it is donovanosis based on the patient’s symptoms and history. Then, specific laboratory tests (such as tissue biopsy) may be ordered to confirm the suspicion.

Venereal lymphogranuloma

The diagnosis is made by detecting antibodies to the chlamydia toxin in an examination similar to the PCR. It is also possible to do direct tests, such as ELISA.


The diagnosis is made based on the assessment of symptoms and aspect of vaginal discharge. Therefore, to ensure a degree of certainty, the doctor may use the following tests:

  • Pap smear;
  • Vaginal pH test;
  • Examination of microorganism culture;
  • Cytology exam;
  • Collection of vaginal discharge;
  • Secretion culture (PCR);
  • Blood test.


To diagnose Zika it is very important to be aware of the symptoms, which can be very similar to those of a common flu. In general, it will not be necessary to have more expensive tests, as the doctor usually gets to know that it is Zika because of contextual conditions, as if the area of ​​the suspect is suffering from an outbreak of diseases caused by Aedes Aegypti .

However, it is still possible to do some tests to diagnose Zika. Are they:

  • Viral isolation;
  • PCR;
  • Serology.

Risk factors

As we saw earlier, many STDs are not transmitted exclusively through sex, so there are several risk factors. Understand:

Having unprotected sex

A risk factor common to all infections that fall into the category of STDs is unprotected sex. By not using a condom, you expose yourself to the possibility of contamination by any of these diseases.

It is worth remembering that the infection can occur even in stable relationships. Your partner may have become infected in other ways that do not involve sexual contact. It may be that he was infected with Zika by a mosquito bite, or, who knows, he may have been exposed to infected needles when he went to get a tattoo.

When we talk about STDs, anything can happen. Your partner may have contracted an STD because he shared the towel with a colleague at the gym, for example, or because he contracted the infection from his previous partner and had the virus asleep in his body.

Not all STDs are a sign that the partner has had sex outside of the relationship, but all STDs can be transmitted through sex.

So, even with your steady partner, always try to use a condom. It is the best way to prevent it.

Living in a tropical region

Many of the STDs cited in the text are more prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, such as zika, ebola and venereal lymphogranuloma, therefore, people who live in these regions are more likely to be infected by both sexual and other forms of contamination. .

Contact contaminated fluids

Many of the diseases we saw in the text are transmitted, in addition to the sexual route, through contact with contaminated wounds and secretions. In the case of Ebola, for example, the infected person has to be completely isolated, as the disease spreads very quickly and can cause an outbreak with high fatality numbers.

Does STD have a cure?

Some do, some do not. Each STD has its own characteristics, it is caused by a specific etiological agent, so it is not possible to state that STDs, in general, are curable. Despite this, many of them, despite being incurable, have treatment.

STDs that are curable are:

  • Syphilis;
  • Gonorrhea;
  • Chlamydia;
  • Hepatitis B and C;
  • Soft cancer;
  • Mycoplasma genitalium;
  • Chronic Inflammatory Disease (PID);
  • Donovanosis;
  • Venereal lymphogranuloma;
  • Trichomoniasis.

STDs that have no cure (but have control)  are:

  • Herpes;
  • HPV;
  • HTLV;
  • Ebola;
  • Hepatitis D;
  • Zika.

What is the treatment?

Not all STDs are curable, but the vast majority of them have some form of treatment. Treatments will cure the disease or alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. Understand:


Herpes has no cure. However, treatment aims to decrease and prevent the occurrence of outbreaks, alleviate symptoms and decrease the chances of transmission and complications.

Through the use of oral and topical medications, the patient can get rid of the symptoms, but the infection will continue in the body.


Syphilis, on the other hand, has a cure. According to WHO guidelines, the use of benzathine penicillin, an injectable antibiotic, is the most effective treatment for curing syphilis, and this treatment is cheaper and more practical than oral antibiotics.


Like syphilis, gonorrhea can be cured by using antibiotics. Then, all the patient’s sexual partners should be contacted to prevent the spread of the disease from spreading.


In the case of chlamydia, it is possible to achieve a cure through the use of antibiotics until the bacteria is completely eliminated. Since the symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea are similar, it is very likely that the doctor will prescribe specific antibiotics for both infections.

As with other STDs, contacting sexual partners is of utmost importance to prevent the disease from spreading.

Hepatitis B, C and D

As they differ, each hepatitis needs a type of treatment. Check out:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is treated primarily through the use of antivirals. It is also possible to take the vaccine for the prevention of virus B, which is indicated for all newborns and recommended for all professionals who deal daily with the public.

Hepatitis C

Like hepatitis B, hepatitis C is also treated with the use of antivirals, but, unlike virus B, C has no vaccine available.

Hepatitis D

To date, there are still no specific treatments for hepatitis D, but some patients have shown positive results when being treated with antivirals.

Mole cancer

Soft cancer can be cured through the use of antibiotics combined with basic hygiene measures.


So far, there are no treatments for asymptomatic cases of the disease, however, patients who have had neurological manifestations can undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation to decrease the impact of symptoms and increase quality of life.


There is no way to cure HIV, but drug treatment today allows infected patients to lower their viral load to levels where the virus is practically undetectable in the blood.

In Brazil, these drugs have been distributed free of charge since 1996 to everyone who needs treatment.

Mycoplasma genitalium

The treatment of mycoplasma is done through the use of specific antibiotics according to the medical recommendation. It seeks to eliminate infection from the body and, as with all other STDs, partners must also be treated.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

The main purpose of treating IPD is to cure the infection before it is able to cause damage to Organs reproductive organs. It is preferably done with the use of antibiotics orally or intramuscularly.


Unfortunately, there is no cure for Ebola, but treatment requires intensive support, which should preferably be carried out in referral hospitals for the treatment of serious infectious diseases.

As patients become very dehydrated, they need intravenous fluids and oral rehydration with electrolytes to avoid complications of this symptom, such as seizures , cerebral edema and even death.

Some patients may recover when receiving appropriate medical treatment, but this is not always the case, as the disease can have mortality rates in excess of 50%.

Standard treatment, after all, is limited to supportive therapy, which consists of keeping the patient hydrated and the levels of oxygen and blood pressure at safe levels.

There are also experimental drugs, but they are used in very restricted situations. It is possible to do treatment with monoclonal antibodies (a medicine based on the antibodies of patients who survived Ebola – it is done in a similar way to the snake venom antidote), but they have very low availability.

It is also possible to try to use antivirals and other experimental drugs.


Donovanosis is also treated using specific antibiotics and according to medical advice. In the case of the appearance of extensive lesions, it is possible to remove them by means of surgery.

Venereal lymphogranuloma

The treatment of venereal lymphogranuloma is done through the use of antibiotics used in accordance with medical advice. With this, it is possible to cure the disease, but it is still necessary to alert all recent sexual partners to prevent the proliferation of the infection.


The treatment of trichomoniasis is done to eradicate the causative agent from the body. Antibiotics and chemotherapy can be used to achieve this result, and topical treatment helps to reduce symptoms as long as the infection is not cured.


The treatment of Zika aims to alleviate the symptoms, because, technically, the disease has no cure. In order to limit the transmission of the virus, infected patients should be protected from mosquito vectors, therefore, the use of repellents is recommended.

Patients benefit from the use of painkillers, however, drugs based on acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) should not be used, as they thin the blood and may increase the risk of bleeding.

In these cases, the drugs of choice are paracetamol and dipyrone , as they can provide relief from symptoms of pain and fever. It is also very important that the patient drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

Symptoms resolve spontaneously within 4 to 7 days.

How to prevent STDs?

When we talk about STDs, the main form of prevention is through the use of condoms. It is very important to use a condom correctly at all times and in all sexual relations .

Check out some tips on how to use condoms correctly:

  • Always check the expiration date on the packaging;
  • Open the packaging carefully so as not to pierce the condom;
  • Never use your teeth to open the condom packaging;
  • Only use water-based lubricants and avoid petroleum jelly and other oil-based lubricants;
  • Put the condom on only when the penis is erect;
  • Unroll the condom to the base of the penis, squeezing the tip first to remove all the air and prevent it from eventually tearing;
  • After ejaculation, carefully remove the condom, closing the opening with your hand to prevent the sperm from leaking;
  • Throw the used condom in the trash, as it is not reusable.

As for other forms of transmission, the best way to prevent it is to pay attention to risk factors, such as the presence of the aedes aegypti mosquito , in the case of Zika, and to take all necessary preventive measures.

It is also possible to prevent yourself with vaccines. Although they are an effective and safe method, not all STDs can be prevented in this way. Understand:


More than leaving an individual immune, vaccination seeks to leave society as a whole protected, after all, if 90% of people are immune, the disease has more difficulty to spread.

Never will an entire population be vaccinated for a specific disease, as there are those individuals who have immunosuppression problems, such as pregnant women, AIDS patients, autoimmune diseases, who use corticosteroids or patients who are undergoing cancer treatment.

These people, unfortunately, usually cannot be vaccinated, but they are also the most benefited by the immunization of the healthy population, as it becomes more difficult for the circular disease to affect them.

That is, when you get vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself, but your community as a whole.

Returning to the subject, there are several STDs that can be prevented through vaccination. Are they:

  • HPV;
  • Hepatitis B.

Both vaccines can be purchased at private clinics, but are also administered free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS).