STD vs. STI

Published: 04th February 2010
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Many people have heard the words sexually transmitted disease (STD) and the words sexually transmitted infection (STI), they are often used interchangeably, and often time's people just assume that they are the same thing. But is that the case? Are they the same thing, or in actuality represent different aspects of some type of sexually transmitted health hazard?



Fifteen years ago both these categories came under one name Venereal Disease (VD). It was a common term to incorporate all various diseases and infections that are transmitted by sexual acts. To distinguish between them they were separated into infections (STI) and diseases (STD). Infection means that a germ, bacteria, parasite or virus is present in the body. Someone who is an infected person may not have any symptoms, meaning that they might be unaware that they are even sick. On the other hand, a disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that some type of symptom, in other words your body tells you that you are unwell.



The term STI covers a wider range than the term STD does. STDs refer only to infections that are causing problems. One must remember that this is technically medical jargon. It will take a lot of education to separate the two in the minds of the public. Because most of the time, people don't know they are infected with an STI until they start showing symptoms of disease, the AIDS Resource Center uses the term STD, even though the term STI is also appropriate in many cases.



A perfect example to try and clear up this confusing matter is by looking at Genital Herpes. Herpes has two states when blisters or sores are present and when they are absent. When they are present they are causes symptoms, these symptoms being blisters. Due to the fact that there is a symptom, it would be considered an STD, and it is that this stage that the infection is most likely to be spread to another person. When the blisters are absent, meaning there is nothing there, then there are no symptoms, and this is then referred to as an STI.



The two can be confusing to differentiate as there are some diseases or infections that do not completely follow the rules set out. However, it is easiest to remember that Infections have no symptoms, while Diseases have symptoms present. Either way, they are hazardous to your health, and you should seek advice from medical professionals who to properly deal with them.



Venereal Diseases- learn about all the different terms, their meanings and examples to help you understand all about these health risks.

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