Even though they may be used interchangeably, the terms ‘STI’ and ‘STD’ do have a slight technical difference- and it’s all in the name! STIs are sexually transmitted infections while STDs are sexually transmitted diseases.
An STI is only classified as an STD when it starts to cause symptoms. While not all STIs become STDs, all STDs start out as STIs. If this sounds a bit confusing, try to remember it this way: infections are the first step toward developing a disease.
An infection occurs when a harmful virus, parasite, fungus, or bacteria gets into your system and your body starts trying to fight it. Disease happens when the infection starts to cause symptoms. Often, STIs never get to the disease stage and many people may not know they have one unless they get checked by a doctor or at a sexual health clinic.
STI vs STD Usage
In 2023, there’s still a lot of discomfort and misinformation when it comes to sexual health. That’s why the medical and sexual health community has moved away from using STD and started using STI instead to boost sexual health awareness. The term ‘disease’ can often be perceived negatively, or even as something shameful or dirty. Because STIs are passed during sexual activity, this can add another layer of stigma to them.
Sexual health hygiene is important so people shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it, especially if they suspect they may have an STI. Being open and honest with yourself, your partners, and your healthcare providers should never feel shameful.
Additionally, not all STIs will turn into diseases so the term STD isn’t always accurate. Some of the most common STIs like chlamydia and HPV may not ever present with any symptoms, thereby keeping them from being classified as a disease. Plus, if an STI is caught early enough, it can be treated without it ever progressing to a disease.
Sexual Health Clinics Near Me
If you’re located in Northampton or the surrounding area, you can look after your sexual health with West Chemist. We know the importance of sexual health in overall health so we offer several services to boost local sexual health awareness and hygiene.
To arrange an appointment with the leading sexual health pharmacy in Northampton, contact West Chemist today or book online.