people understand that the “I” in STI stands for infection while
the “D” in STD stands for disease. However, did you know that an
STI and STD are not really the same thing despite the definitions
being used interchangeably? The difference in the two letters isn’t
the result of being politically correct – to eliminate the stigma
tied to the term.
to the American Sexual Health Association, a disease is the
suggestion of an actual medical problem that has some clear symptoms
or signs. A person with no symptoms but does have an infection such
as HPV, gonorrhea or chlamydia can be classified as having an STI.
to STDCheck.com, women can carry the HPV virus but have no symptoms.
This means she has an infection, but if she is diagnosed with
HPV-causing cervical cancer, she is now said to have an STD. This is
also true for people who have gonorrhea or chlamydia infections that
lead to pelvic inflammatory disease or PID.
are passed from person to person by way of skin-to-skin contact or
bodily fluid exchange such as oral, anal or vaginal sex. An extremely
heavy make-out session can also lead to the exchange of bodily fluids
and STIs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said
about 20 million new infections take place in the nation each year.
It’s important that people with an STD or STI get help immediately to start treatment and stave off other health problems that could result from not treating the infection.