STD vs STI: The Crucial Difference Explained

Everyone knows what an STD is. Right? What with the amount of readily available information on STDs, free brochures, and cultural references to STDs, one could assume that it’s common knowledge for most people. Yet, the fine distinction between an STD and an STI is one the average person probably can’t make. Fortunately, we’re here to clear up the confusion surrounding the STD vs STI conundrum. Here are the most basic definitions of the two, without any bamboozling medical jargon:

STI Defined

A sexually transmitted infection (or STI) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an infection that you can catch as a result of sexual intercourse (that includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex) with your partner. Some examples of common STIs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes. And within that given subset, it’s possible that those infected won’t experience any of the outward symptoms of the infection. (This underlines the absolute need for people to receive regular STD tests!) Take chlamydia for instance. Nearly fifty percent of men who test positive for chlamydia don’t experience any of the signs or symptoms typically associated with it. Note that signs and symptoms of STIs are as varied as STIs themselves.

So What’s an STD?

If you thought that gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes were themselves STDs –– don’t feel bad. The term STD has existed as a cultural shorthand for the wider array of sexually-related maladies for some time now. The good news is, as more and more people become informed about sexual wellness the better positioned they’ll be to deal with any issues they have. So to the matter at hand. What’s an STD as opposed to an STI? An STD is a disease that can arise from a sexually-transmitted infection. Let’s go back to chlamydia again. On its own it’s unlikely to cause many noticeable symptoms or major health problems. However, if the infection spreads to the upper genital tract (in women) it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. (Which, can cause major health problems such as infertility.) As such, the patient is no longer dealing with merely an infection –– the situation has changed and they now have what can more properly be classed as an STD.

The Key Point to Remember

More important than understanding the difference of an STD vs STI, is knowing the symptoms to look for, and how to practice safe sex. Venereal diseases have existed for thousands of years –– but you can help stem the tide by choosing to inform yourself and others.

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

If you suspect that you might have an STD or an STI –– don’t wait another minute. Find a professional clinic near you so that you can get a definitive answer on the matter. We offer private, modern, and empathetic service so that you can rest easy knowing you’ve made the right choice. Contact us here 844-394-8520 and set up a confidential consultation today. Your future-self will thank you!

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