STD vs STI: What’s the Difference?

STD vs STI: What’s the Difference?

If you’re sexually active, chances are you’ve heard about how it’s important to take steps to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Are STDs the same as sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? Could you have an asymptomatic STD or STI? How do sexually transmitted conditions pass between people?

At Cermak Immediate Care, our team is here to answer all of your questions about sexual health. We provide STD testing and treatment from our convenient locations in Cicero, Berwyn, Little Village, and North Lawndale, Illinois.

Are STDs and STIs the same?

The terms “sexually transmitted disease” and “sexually transmitted infection” mean basically the same thing and are often used interchangeably. One subtle difference is that an STI may not show symptoms.

We say that you have an infection when a germ or parasite enters your body. Your immune system responds right away to fight off the invader. You can develop the disease if an infection gains traction in your body that allows it to damage you and cause symptoms. 

You could have an STI that never develops into an STD, making the term “STI” more accurate for sexual health purposes.

Some people also advocate for “sexually transmitted infection” as a more neutral, compassionate term. However, the “STD” term is still more widely used and may be more familiar to you. And that’s okay! Whatever words you feel comfortable using, the providers at Cermak Immediate Care can help you learn more about your STI or STD status.

Types of STIs

There are lots and lots of different types of STIs and STDs. You can think of common STIs as falling into these groupings:

No matter what type of STD or STI you’re dealing with, the team at Cermak Immediate Care supports you in identifying your STD symptoms, status, and future prognosis. The sooner you have all the information about your STI status, the better your options for maintaining your sexual health and the lower the risk to your sexual partners.

STI testing and you

STIs pass between partners during sex. Some STDs pass through genital contact only, while others can be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids. The latter category is also a risk for people who use intravenous drugs.

When you get tested for STIs, you protect your own sexual health. You also learn important information you need to know to protect your partner or partners, now and in the future. If you have an STI without symptoms, testing is the only way for you to know for sure if you’re infectious.

STI management

Many STDs can be effectively treated, especially if detected early. Other conditions can be managed, including potentially reduced infectiousness, with the right protocols.

Either way, getting tested is the first step in STD management. Your provider at Cermak Immediate Care helps you understand what your STI testing results mean for you and your sexual health care needs.

For STI testing and STD management support you can count on, get in touch with the team at Cermak Immediate Care today. Schedule your appointment online or over the phone, or walk in during open hours for urgent care treatment today.

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