Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that reproduce only after infecting host cells. Several major viral STDs are included in this section: Herpes simplex virus, human papilloma virus, hepatitis viruses, and human immunodeficiency virus.
As you study this section, keep in mind a few major principles of viral STDs. First, viral STDs are unresponsive to antibiotic therapy. Most medicines used to treat them are aimed at helping relieve some of the symptoms that the viruses cause. Second, most viral STDs cannot be fully eradicated from the body, so once a person becomes infected with one, he or she remain infected for life. These two principles guide the third principle (and the most important overarching principle with regard to STDs): prevention is the most effective approach to viral STDs.