Advertisement

How effective are antibiotics in treating STDs?

Antibiotics are usually very effective in treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some STDs such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes are not curable, but can be well controlled with medications. Some diseases have become resistant to certain antibiotics (so the antibiotic no longer works). This is another reason it is important to take all medications as prescribed by your doctor --  finish your antibiotic course even if you no longer have any symptoms. 
Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine

Penicillin is only effective in curing one sexually transmitted disease (STD), and that is syphilis. Amazingly enough, a shot of penicillin really will fix that one.


However, it's important to note that half of all STDs are viral (herpes, HPV, HIV, and hepatitis A, B, and C) and therefore no antibiotic can cure them.
Additionally, gonorrhea, which is a bacterial infection, has become resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics, so now there is only one type of antibiotic which is still effective.

Continue Learning about STDs

Is it Healthy to Groom the Hair Down There?
Is it Healthy to Groom the Hair Down There?
One of the most famous point-shaving scandals of all time involved a handful of underworld bookies, gangsters, and the 1978–79 Boston College basketba...
Read More
What causes a sexually transmitted disease in adolescents?
Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhDBonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Sex and sexual activity can result in an STD or STI. Oral, anal, vaginal sex can spread an STI becau...
More Answers
What can I do if treatment for trichomoniasis fails?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
Up to 10% of women do not respond to standard treatment for trichomoniasis; for those who fail treat...
More Answers
Dr. Diane Harper - How Are Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) Infections Detected?
Dr. Diane Harper - How Are Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) Infections Detected?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.