What’s the difference between STI’s and STD’s

November 24, 2016

So, what’s the difference—and why do many health experts prefer one term over the other? Technically, there isn’t any difference between the two terms — STD and STI mean the exact same thing. But there are some semantics to consider: More experts are starting to prefer the term STI because they think it carries less of a stigma.

“The word disease implies that a person has a set of distinctive, identifiable symptoms, and most of the time, sexually transmitted infections do not present any symptoms,” says Carolyn Deal, Ph.D., chief of the sexually transmitted diseases branch of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Despite the branch name, Dean says her colleagues have made the switch to the term STI.)

“And when signs do appear, they’re often mild or cause no real problem. That makes the term “disease” feel off, especially considering that millions of people have or have had one,” says Fred Wyand, director of communications at the American Sexual Health Association.

Switching the terminology also has to do with removing any association with shame and unseemliness that the letters STD still have. The word disease has a stigma, while infection reflects something more benign and less scary, says Deal.

If you are worried that you have a STI, or think that you might be pregnant, make an appointment today. Options Health is a safe place where you can confidentially come and discuss sexual health, STI’s, pregnancy and even abortion and post abortion concerns with one of our client advocates. Feel free to contact us today to take advantage of our free services, including free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds, free STI screening, abortion alternative counseling and after abortion counseling. We are here for you and ready to listen!

Women’s Health. What’s the Difference Between STDs and STIs?. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/sti-vs-std