264 STIs and Other Infections of the Genitals
are given in this
chapter if pregnant
women should not
take a medicine. If
a medicine does not
have a warning, it is
safe to take.
➤ Before you take
any medicine, you
can read about it in
the “Green Pages.”
There you will find
more information you
➤ If you are not
sure which medicine
will work best for
a problem, try to
check with a health
worker or pharmacist
who will know which
medicines are best
where you live.
In this chapter we recommend medicines that treat different STIs.
Remember that most people have more than one STI or other
infection of the genitals at the same time, so it is often necessary to
take more than one medicine. Whichever medicines you choose,
be sure to take them correctly.
Different kinds of medicines are
sold in different parts of the world,
and the prices may vary. Because
of this, some medicines may not be
available where you live, or there
may be a different medicine that is
more effective and less costly.
You may also need to take a different medicine if:
• you are pregnant or breastfeeding and the medicine
is not safe to take during those times.
• the STI you are trying to treat has become resistant to the
• you have an allergy to the medicine. Some people are allergic
to medicines like penicillin or sulfa antibiotics. See page 480
for how to substitute antibiotics.
Drug Resistance and STI Medicines
When using medicines for treating STIs and other diseases, it
is very important to take all the medicine. If a person does not
take enough of the right kind of medicine—or stops taking the
medicine before the treatment is finished—the germs causing the
infection are not all killed. The strongest germs survive and create
stronger forms of the disease. Then a medicine that once worked
against that disease is no longer able to cure it. This is called
For this reason, in many places gonorrhea has become resistant
to the drugs usually used to treat it. Talk with a health worker to
find out if there is drug resistance where you live, and what are the
best, locally-available medicines to treat STIs.
Be sure to take medicines correctly
Remember, when treating STIs, always:
• make sure your partner gets treated too.
• take all the medicine.
• stop having sex or use condoms during sex until your signs have
gone away AND you and your partner have finished all the medicine.
• see a health worker if you do not get better by the end of your treatment.
• practice safer sex when you do have sex again.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012