New York Primary Care

STD TestingNew York, NY

Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, are a more common problem than many Americans think. Unfortunately, stigma can prevent patients from getting the treatment they need. Prompt treatment of STDs can prevent severe complications later on.

Treatment for sexually transmitted diseases is available from Dr. Marina Gafanovich in her Upper East Side Manhattan office. We can help with diagnosis, treatment, symptom management, and more. When it comes to your health, you should never hesitate. Visit our primary care doctor for STD treatment.

Request An Appointment

Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases transmitted through sexual activity with an infected person. They are also sometimes called sexually transmitted infections or STIs. Any sexual activity involving the mouth, anus, vagina, or penis can pass on an STD from an infected person to an uninfected person. The CDC estimates that there are around 20 million new infections each year. Furthermore, half of all sexually active young adults will get an STD by the age of 25.

Some STDs are more severe than others. For example, HIV is both incurable and potentially deadly. However, all STDs require some degree of treatment. With proper maintenance and care, individuals can reduce any chance of complications. Common STDs include genital herpes, genital warts/human papillomavirus, hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, pubic lice, molluscum contagiosum, and trichomoniasis.

Risk Factors for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There are three leading causes of STDs: bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Any sexually active person is at risk of catching an STD. However, these chances are more significant for those who have unprotected sex, have sex with multiple partners, misuse condoms, abuse alcohol or recreational drugs, or inject drugs. The latter is essential to note, as some STDs can be transmitted through sharing needles.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that risk factors for acquiring STDs include having a history of an STD or multiple STDs, experiencing a forceful sexual encounter, being young, and taking prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction. Although many risk factors are beyond a person’s control, there are preventative measures one can take to reduce the risk. That includes having safe sex and taking all preventative and diagnostic tests yearly.

Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Many STDs lie dormant before displaying any symptoms. Some may be completely asymptomatic and go unnoticed until a partner receives a diagnosis or other complications occur. In any case, common STD symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Fever
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Rash over the trunk, hands, or feet
  • Sore, swollen lymph nodes, especially in the groin
  • Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area
  • Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding

It can take anywhere from a few days or a few years for affected individuals to notice any signs of STDs. Additionally, the types of symptoms one may experience varies depending on the particular organism infecting them.

Diagnosing Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There are many ways a primary care doctor can diagnose STDs. Physicians frequently use blood tests to confirm a diagnosis of HIV or late-stage syphilis. A urine sample can confirm other STD diagnoses. Furthermore, if a patient has open genital sores, the physician may test the fluid from the sores.

Patients should also get screened for STDs regularly. This procedure tests for diseases in patients not exhibiting any symptoms. The CDC advises all patients aged 13 to 64 to undergo a blood or saliva test for HIV every year. Patients should also undergo STD screening before and after each new partner. Additionally, some populations may need more frequent screening than others. A primary care doctor can determine a patient’s risk profile.

Treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases

While viral infections are manageable, they are not always curable. As such, STDs that form from bacteria are typically easier to treat. Antibiotics can cure several STDs, often in a single dose. Common bacterial and parasitic sexually transmitted infections include gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are typically treated at the same time, as the two often appear together. Patients must complete the entire course of antibiotics or run the risk of relapse. Additionally, they must abstain from sex until a week after completing the treatment, and any sores have healed.

Viral STDs, like herpes and HIV, are treated with antiviral drugs. Those with herpes will have fewer recurrences if they take daily suppressive therapy with prescribed antiviral medication. Still, this will not cure the condition — making it possible for those infected to give their partners herpes. Similarly, antiviral drugs can keep HIV infections under control for many years.

Still, the infected individual will carry the virus and may transmit it to a partner (though the risks are much lower). With viral STDs, early detection is crucial. By taking medications exactly as directed, patients can reduce their virus count so low that it is barely detectable.

Call Us Today

Sexually transmitted diseases must be treated immediately for the safety of the infected patient and their sexual partners. Marina Gafanovich and her team can help. Call us today at 212-548-3263 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.

Contact Us

Marina Gafanovich, MD is located at
1550 York Ave Ste A
New York, NY 10028

(212) 548-3263