Health A-Z

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Expected Duration

How long STDs last depends on the specific type of infection. In some cases, although symptoms may go away without treatment, the patient is still infected and can pass the STD to a partner during unprotected sexual activity. In patients with trichomoniasis, chlamydia, or gonorrhea, treatment with antibiotics can dramatically shorten the duration of symptoms. In addition, treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis will avoid potential long-term complications. Viral infections, such as genital warts, genital herpes and HIV cannot be cured. However, they can be treated with medications.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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