What Is An STI?

What is an STI?

When hearing the term STI some may not know that it is actually different than an STD. People are using the term STI more and more frequently. STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, while STD means sexually transmitted disease, although these sound very similar the main difference is that the disease has not developed yet in an STI.

A person who is carrying the virus, but experiencing no symptoms has the infection, once the virus starts to manifest symptoms then it is considered a disease.

What defines an infection versus a disease?

Infection is many times the beginning stage of disease. Typically it is caused by viruses, microbes, or bacteria which has began multiplying once it enters the body. An example of a disease being brought on by an initial infection, like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a result of an infection caused by Chlamydia or Gonorrhea which was left untreated. The infection is not considered a disease until the body begins to have issues which interfere with the way that a healthy body functions, or the proper structure of a healthy body.

There are over 30 particular bacteria, parasites, and viruses which are typically passed from person to person through sexual contact. Some of these infections can also be contracted through blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy.

The following are the 8 distinctive infections which are tied with most STD’s:


  • syphilis
  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhea
  • trichomoniasis


  • HIV
  • HPV
  • Hep B
  • HSV

While a person can have an STI no symptoms, some people do experience things such as:

  • Vaginal Discharge
  • Genital Ulcers
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Urethral Discharge
  • Urethral Burning in Men

Because the issue of STI’s have such a far reach and are so widespread it is important to be educated about them and how to prevent them. It has been estimated that around 357 million new infections of the curable type of STI’s occur each year, that is more than 1 million STI’s per day.

Prevention Methods

Regularly using a male or female condom can help to reduce the chance of contracting an STI. They do not have 100% accuracy, so it is important to be tested regularly. To help reduce your risk of living with an infection contact your family doctor for your yearly well-check and get tested, or call us today to schedule an appointment.


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