Types of STDs that Cannot be Cured: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Much More

STDs that cannot be cured
STDs that cannot be cured – STDTestGuru

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STI), or venereal diseases (VD) are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. In some cases, these infections can be transmitted non-sexually, from a mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles. The causes of these diseases or infections are bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Most STDs affect both men and women, but the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. There are different ranges of signs and symptoms, including no symptoms that may go unnoticed until complications occur. However, certain types of STDs cannot be cured.

There are about 30 different kinds of bacteria, viruses, and parasites transmitted through sexual contact. Eight are related to STDs. In which chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are curable. And viral infections like hepatitis B, herpes, HIV, and HPV are STDs that cannot be cured. Fortunately, they can be effectively managed or minimized with early diagnosis and proper treatment. STDs can cause serious health problems when they are not treated. About 20 million new cases are reported in the United States every year. And 50% of those cases are people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Symptoms of STD

Most of the time symptoms don’t occur, but when symptoms occur, they vary depending on the disease. Signs and symptoms may appear a few days or even years after exposure.

Common symptoms of STD:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms of STD in women:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Yeast infection
  • Unusual discharge
  • Changes in urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Rashes or sores

If left untreated, it can lead to fertility problems and the risk of cervical cancer is increased. Some of the most common STDs in women include human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes. Early treatment is essential for a pregnant woman who is infected by STDs as they can pass on the infection to their baby during pregnancy or birth.

Symptoms of STD in men:

  • Abnormal discharge from the penis
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Bumps or sores on the penis or genitals
  • Frequent urination

Some of the most common STDs in men include genital herpes, chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and HPV.

STDs that cannot be cured
STD: Incurable and Curable STD, Symptoms in men and women

Incurable STDs

The STDs that cannot be cured include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes
  • HIV
  • HPV

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is one of the STDs that cannot be cured. And is spread through sexual intercourse and is one of the leading causes of liver cancer. It can be transmitted through contact with semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and urine. It can also spread through contaminated needles and from a pregnant woman to her baby during birth.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Pale feces
  • Dark urine

Treatment for Hepatitis B

Acute hepatitis B does not always cause symptoms and can go away in a few months without treatment. But when the infection becomes chronic, there is no cure for it. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications including entecavir, tenofovir, lamivudine, adefovir, and telbivudine that can help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage the liver. When this condition is left untreated it may cause cirrhosis. Apart from liver transplants, there is no cure for cirrhosis. Only a few people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer, and these complications can lead to death.


  • Have protected sex
  • Get the hepatitis B vaccine
  • Must avoid sharing the razors, toothbrushes, nail care tools, or pierced earrings
  • Do not pre-chew food for a baby


Herpes is one of the highly contagious STDs that cannot be cured. Which appear in various parts of the body, mostly on the genitals or mouth. Herpes simplex type 1 is spread through oral secretions or sores on the skin. It can also be spread through kissing, sharing objects like toothbrushes, or eating utensils. One can get herpes type 2 during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Genital herpes can be passed on from a pregnant woman to the baby during childbirth. As stated by CDC, 1 in 6 people in the US between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes and about 80% of people with genital herpes are unaware that they have it.

Symptoms of Herpes

  • Blistering sores (in the mouth / on the genitals)
  • Pain during urination (genital herpes)
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Eye pain (herpes keratitis)

Treatment for Herpes

Presently, there is no cure for this viral infection. Treatment focuses on getting rid of sores and can decrease the pain related to an outbreak. Doctors may prescribe medications like acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir. These medications can give relief from the pain and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others but they may not cure the disease completely.


  • Avoid sex, oral sex, kissing, or any other type of sexual activity during a herpes outbreak
  • Avoid sharing any items that can pass the virus around like silverware, cups, towels, clothing, makeup
  • A person with HSV-2 must avoid any type of sexual activity with other people during an outbreak


The next STDs that cannot be cured is Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a retrovirus that affects the immune system, especially the white blood cells (CD4+). If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body will no longer defend itself against infection and can cause changes throughout the body. When HIV is left untreated, it will lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This virus can spread through certain bodily fluids like blood, breast milk, vaginal or rectal fluids, and semen. Nearly 1.2 million people have HIV in the US. One among 7 doesn’t know that they are affected by the virus.

Symptoms of HIV

People with HIV may experience the following symptom in the first stage (Acute HIV Infection)

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Stomach upset
  • Rashes

In the second stage, people may not have any symptoms but infection continues to multiply in the body at a lower level. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the final and severe stage of HIV, people may experience

  • Serious illness
  • Persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Purplish spot in the skin
  • Night sweats
  • Yeast infection
  • Neurological symptoms (which includes balance problem, seizures, memory loss, or confusion)

The symptoms of HIV can be related to other diseases or infections. So, the best way is to get tested and undergo treatment if necessary.

Treatment for HIV

Although HIV is one of the STDs that cannot be cured, ART (antiretroviral treatment) can reduce the amount of HIV in the body. Antiretroviral treatment is the only medication that is effective to control the virus. No natural or herbal cure is available. Treatment can improve life expectancy and the quality of life.


  • Getting tested for HIV
  • Consulting the healthcare provider about the PrEP
  • Getting tested and treated for STIs
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Avoid sharing needles

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is one of the STDs that cannot be cured. People do not have any kind of signs or symptoms most of the time. Some types of human papillomavirus may lead to certain types of cancer or genital warts. People get genital HPV infection through sexual contact like vaginal, anal, and oral sex.  Transmission can occur even when people do not have symptoms. The virus is passed on to the baby by his or her infected mother in some cases. About 14 million people are infected every year in the United States and almost 80% of sexually active people are infected by Human Papillomavirus.

Symptoms of HPV

A common symptom of HPV is warts (low-risk type) on the genital area and the abnormal changes in the cells that can sometimes turn into cancer (high-risk type). Screening regularly will help diagnose HPV-related health problems earlier.

Men may not have symptoms, but some will develop genital warts on the penis, scrotum, anus, or groin. Women have itching, burning, or tenderness in and around the location of warts. Genital warts may appear in the following area:

  • On the vulva
  • In or around the anus
  • In or around the vagina
  • On the groin
  • On the cervix

Treatment for HPV

Although there is no cure for HPV, the body can produce antibodies against the virus and clear the infection on its own. Visible warts and abnormal cells from the cervix are removed when treatment is required. A medicated cream is recommended by the doctor that needs to be applied directly on warts. Treatments may include trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, podofilox, and Imiquimod. HPV vaccines almost prevent 90% of Human Papillomavirus attributable cancers.


  • Have protected sex
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Avoid sex while genital warts are present
  • Pap tests are recommended to every woman to check for abnormal changes in the cervix

Curable STDs

The STDs which can be cured include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis


Chlamydia is one of the most common and curable sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. It is caused by chlamydia trachomatis bacteria spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Pregnant women who are infected can pass on the infection to their unborn children during delivery. 75% of women and 50% of men do not have symptoms. According to CDC, 1 in 20 sexually active young women have chlamydia who belong to the age group 14-24 years.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Most of the infected people do not have symptoms, when they have, they usually show up within 1 to 3 weeks after contact.

Symptoms in women:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Painful periods
  • Abdominal pain
  • Itching/burning in or around the vagina

Symptoms in men:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Painful urination
  • Burning and itching around the penis
  • Pain and swelling around the testicles

Treatment for Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics. Doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics, usually azithromycin or doxycycline. It is important to avoid sex during treatment. The sexual partners must be tested and treated if necessary. An infected person should get retested after 3 months to be sure the infection is cured.


  • Use protection with each new partner
  • Avoid having oral sex
  • Get tested regularly for STIs


Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria and spread through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sex) or by blood. The CDC says that gonorrhea is the second most commonly spread STDs in the US and it also recommends that all patients with gonorrheal infection should also be treated for assumed co-infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. A woman who is pregnant can pass on the infection to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. Infection can pass on to others, even if they don’t have any signs or symptoms.

Symptoms of gonorrhea

Symptoms may appear within 1 or 2 weeks after getting exposed to the infection. Symptoms differ among men and women. However, there are certain symptoms that both men and women may experience which include

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Rectal discharge
  • Anal soreness and itching

Symptom in women:

  • An unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Bleeding or pain during sex
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

Symptom in men:

  • Itching in or around the genital
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain and burning sensation during discretion
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain or swelling in testicles

Treatment for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea can be cured with proper treatment and early detection. It is not possible to repair or reverse any damage that has already occurred, but treatment can prevent further damages. Doctors may recommend antibiotics that include ceftriaxone, cefixime, azithromycin, or doxycycline. Antibiotics cure the infection in one or two weeks, so a person needs to take the prescribed medicine until the recommended course of treatment has finished. It’s better to consult the doctor if you continue to have symptoms even after the medications.


  • Having protected sex
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Getting tested for gonorrhea and other STIs
  • Avoid douching
  • Avoid sex with someone who appears to have other STIs
  • Engage in a monogamous relationship


The bacteria Treponema Pallidum causes Syphilis. Spreads through sexual activity and cuts on the skin and even through mucous membranes. The initial phase is a painless sore, which is also called a chancre. Early syphilis can be cured with a single dose of Penicillin in most cases. It becomes challenging to diagnose the infection as people often fail to notice it. If left untreated for many years it may cause major damage to the heart and brain. Syphilis can also be passed on from an infected mother to her infant during childbirth or pregnancy.

Symptoms of Syphilis

  • Primary/Early syphilis Symptoms: Sore occurs wherever the bacteria enter the body. The sores are painless and hidden in the vagina or anus so, it’s difficult to notice them. Chancre or sores last 3 to 6 weeks and it will heal on its own.
  • Secondary syphilis symptoms: Include rashes, white patches inside the mouth, hair loss, lesions in the groin, weight loss, fatigue, headache, or fever.
  • Latent syphilis symptoms: This stage is latent or hidden as the infection does not have any noticeable signs or symptoms.
  • Tertiary syphilis symptoms: This stage is considered to be life-threatening and can occur years or decades post the initial infection. Symptoms may include heart disease, neurological disorders, memory loss, blindness, or deafness.

Treatment for Syphilis

Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. Even in the later stage, syphilis remains curable but may require a longer course of Penicillin. But it is not possible to repair or reverse any damage that has already occurred, it prevents further damages. People who are allergic to Penicillin are advised to get other antibiotics like doxycycline, azithromycin, or ceftriaxone.  When a person undergoes treatment, he/she must avoid sexual contact until all sores are healed. Infected people must notify their partner, so they can be tested and treated if necessary.


  • Avoid recreational drugs
  • Having one sexual partner
  • To be monogamous or abstain
  • Using a dental dam
  • Avoiding intimate contact with someone infected
  • Getting screened for STIs


Trich or trichomoniasis is a curable STD, which is caused by parasitic protozoa called Trichomonas vaginalis. And the parasite is carried in sexual fluids (vaginal fluids, semen, or pre-cum) during sexual intercourse. According to CDC, only 30% experience the symptoms of trich. This condition can be cured with antibiotics but it may recur again. Trich can be transmitted even when people don’t have any symptoms.

Symptoms of Trichomoniasis

Only 3 in 10 people have symptoms. Symptoms of trich are so mild that people fail to notice it, and this increases the chance of transmitting the infection to others.

Symptoms in women:

  • Discomfort with urination
  • Vaginal discharge (green, yellow, or grey)
  • Itching in or around the vagina
  • Swelling around genitals
  • Swelling in the groin
  • Pain in the lower stomach
  • Bleeding after sex

Symptoms in men:

  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • White discharge from the penis
  • Pain when peeing or during ejaculation
  • Swelling or redness around the penis
  • Burning after ejaculation

Treatment for Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis can be cured with proper medication. Antibiotic medications like metronidazole and tinidazole will help to get rid of the infection. The treatment for trich include pills, which are considered to be safe for pregnant women. Only 20% of people get trichomoniasis again within 3 months of treatment so, it’s better to get tested again to avoid reinfection.


  • Getting tested for trich and other STDs
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Avoiding sex for 7–10 days after treatment
  • Avoid sharing sex toys
  • Having protected sex
  • Avoid douching
  • Engage in a monogamous relationship
Statistics of STD
Statistics of STD

Facts about STD:

  • WHO estimated that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide.
  • According to WHO, there were 376 million new infections with 1 of 4 STIs: chlamydia (127 million), gonorrhea (87 million), syphilis (6.3 million), and trichomoniasis (156 million) in 2016.
  • It’s estimated that 25% of all Americans have STDs that cannot be cured.
  • Every year in the US, nearly 20 million new STD cases are diagnosed.
  • Approximately 50% of STD infections are among young people aged between 15 to 24.

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