There are people having unprotected sex but have protective cases on their phones.
Let that sink in.
The first difference between STDs and STIs is in the name. STD stands for sexually transmitted disease, whereas STI means sexually transmitted infection. Essentially, the difference is between a disease and an infection.
Not all diseases begin with infections, but many do. Sexually transmitted disease first begin as sexually transmitted infections. Infection occurs with the sexually transmitted bacteria or virus first enters the body and begins multiplying.
Once the sexually transmitted bacteria or viruses have entered the body, the infection may progress into a disease. Disease occurs when this foreign presence officially disrupts the body’s normal functions and processes.
Origins of the Terms
Another reason for the emergence of the term STI is due to stigma. Terms like venereal disease and sexually transmitted disease have existed for so long that they have a bad connotation.
Already, venereal disease was changed out for sexually transmitted disease. Now, many people prefer to use the term sexually transmitted infection. Perhaps in another 50 years, there will be another term introduced.
Both venereal disease and sexually transmitted disease use the term “disease.” This seems to be the catalyst for the bad connotation. In contract, the term “infection” does not garner as much negativity. This is possibly due to the perception that an infection is less serious or severe.
Of course, STD and STI aren’t really interchangeable. However, even doctors are using STI instead of STD. Sometimes stigma can be just as harmful as a disease.
Another major difference between STDs and STIs is how they present. Because an STD is the later stage of an STI, you may have some symptoms. With an STI however, many carriers show no signs of being infected.
Getting tested is the only way to know whether you carry an STD or STI. Unfortunately, many people still neglect to get regularly tested after sexual activity. This is often due to stigma.
Some medical professionals hope that by using less stigmatized terms, more people will be encouraged to get tested. It’s vital that people feel comfortable and safe, get tested, and prevent the spread of disease.
Unfortunately, many diseases are spread due to the carrier’s unawareness of their status.
When to get Tested
Either once a year or before/after every new partner, whichever comes first.
Where to get Tested*
- Primary Care Physician/ Doctor Office
- Urgent Care/ Emergency Room
*If you are unsure where to go for testing or have a financial concern, please contact Colleen at 618.939.3871 ext. 211 or by email at [email protected]. She will be happy to assist in finding the right place for you to get tested and your communication can will anonymous.
Dealing with STDs and STIs
Now that you know the difference between STD vs. STI, you can arm yourself with knowledge. Awareness is one of the best ways to protect yourself from contracting disease.
Another way to protect yourself is by using protection. The MCHD offers FREE male condoms, female condoms, and lubricant. You can come in any time Monday – Friday 8am-4:30 pm to pick up a sample pack.
We also offer discreet pick up or can bring it out to your vehicle! Please text 618.612.6404 for discreet pickup or curbside delivery.
If you’re not sure about your options, have questions, concerns, or need resources, don’t hesitate to contact:
Colleen Phone: 618.939.3871 ext. 211 or Email: [email protected].
No judgement, No shame; just Help.