You think you may have herpes, genital warts, or HIV, but you don’t have a doctor or are too ashamed and worried to go to a health center or clinic. So you research online and find impressive looking medical sites that offer “cures” for your condition. These claims sound too good to be true, and they are!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have joined forces in the Fraudulent STD Products Initiative. The FDA is the government agency that evaluates drugs for safety and effectiveness. Together, these agencies are warning makers of these bogus products to change their claims or take these products off the market. The FDA states that none of these products has been shown to treat any disease and they may have untested ingredients that could cause harm. Dr. Debbie Birnkrant of the Food and Drug Administration warns that these products won’t work and may cause delays in someone getting treatment. Effective treatments for sexually transmitted diseases are only available by prescription through a health care provider.
There are at least 15 products being sold online or in stores claiming to treat, cure, or prevent STDs. The online websites look official and medically informative. ImmuneGlory by Arenvy Laboratories, Inc shows chemical structures, testimonials, and has quotes and logos attributed to CNN, CDC, WebMD, MSNBC, and others. If you read these quotes carefully, they do not endorse the product itself as a cure, but comment on information about the disease. When you scroll down to the very bottom of the website, you will find in small print a disclaimer that states:
- this product has not been reviewed by the FDA
- this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
- this product is not affiliated with CNN, CDC, WebMD, etc.
Other products such as Viruxo and DMSO claim to kill and cure the herpes virus. The herpes virus is not yet curable, but can be controlled. A complete list of nonprescription products sold that claim to treat STDs is available on the FDA’s website.
The FDA states they have never approved any nonprescription online medication or dietary supplements that are proven to prevent or treat STDs. Condoms, when used properly, are the only nonprescription product shown to prevent STDs by decreasing your chance of contracting one from an infected sexual partner.
Safe, effective treatment is available, but you need to see a health care provider to be properly diagnosed and get a prescription. Planned Parenthood’s website can help you find a provider, and it has excellent information on STDs.
Don’t risk your health or the health of your partner by purchasing products that may delay appropriate and effective treatment.