If you’ve got a sexually transmitted disease, the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that some companies are selling products that make unproven claims to treat sexually transmitted diseases and infections—claims that could pose a threat to public health in general and your health specifically.
Experts warn that if left untreated, sexually transmitted diseases and infections can cause life-long health problems. Currently, the only tests and treatments available are through your healthcare provider.
The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) together are are warning that at least 15 products claim to treat, prevent, or cure STDs and are being sold online and in stores, and those companies who are manufacturing or distributing these products are risking legal action.
Unproven STD Claims
The products—some of which are sold as dietary supplements—claim to treat a range of sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, HIV, and AIDS.
Specific brand names being targeted by FDA and FTC include: Medavir, Herpaflor, and Viruxo. Click hereto see a complete list of the phony STD remedies.
Experts at the FDA, including Debbie Birnkrant, MD, are concerned that someone with an STD will waste precious time using a product that doesn’t work, leading to a delay in medical treatment and possible spread of the infection to a partner or partners. “If you aren’t treating your STD with an FDA-approved medication, you’re not just putting your own health at risk—you could be endangering your partner,” Birnkrant says.
Prescription Only for STDs
Birnkrant says there are no non-prescription drugs or dietary supplements that can treat, cure, or prevent sexually transmitted disease. Condoms are the only non-prescription product that can prevent STDs by reducing the chance that an infected person will pass on the disease. STDs can only be diagnosed and treated under the supervision of a health care professional.
Some STDs have symptoms that include sores or a discharge, but most infected people have no symptoms at all. Because of this, Birnkrant says people who are sexually active, have had unprotected sex, or have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease should get care right away, especially if they have these symptoms:
burning sensation with urination
discharge from the penis or vagina
Your healthcare provider has many FDA-approved medications available to treat sexually transmitted diseases but they’re only available by prescription.
Want to read more? Check out The Most Common STD for information on HPV.
Click here to check out all of our resources on sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections.
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