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.

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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.