What's The Difference Between STIs And STDs?

Get the facts about sexually transmitted illnesses.

Many people ask our Arcadia, CA, OBGYNs, Dr. Anya Rose and Dr. Megan Gau, about STIs and STDs, mainly what’s the difference. STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, and STD stands for sexually transmitted diseases. While a bit different, they both refer to the same thing: infections that are passed through sex. The only difference is that STI is the most updated term we use to talk about sexually transmitted infections. Why? Mainly because there is a stigma around the word “disease.”

What Is a Sexually Transmitted Infection?

An infection is any virus, bacteria, fungus or parasite that enters your body. On the other hand, disease occurs within your body due to an infection. That could be damage to an organ or the tissues of the body. It is possible to have an infection that never develops into a disease. This is often the case for STIs. Many people can have a sexually transmitted infection and never even know it. That’s how it gets passed from one person to another through sexual contact.

Should I call it STI or STD?

The term STD has been around far longer than STI, so you will probably still hear people say it more often. You may even hear our Arcadia, CA, team say it from time to time. That’s because it’s the term most people are familiar with. But know that if you hear the term STI, this is just the most updated way of saying STD. It doesn’t matter what acronym you feel more comfortable using—we’ll know exactly what you’re talking about either way. The most important thing is that you protect yourself, practice safe sex and get regular STI testing (yes, even if you are being safe).

An STI test can provide peace of mind about your health status and maybe something you wish to do before beginning a new relationship or to protect yourself and your health. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, an STI test is still recommended for all sexually active individuals. If you’d like to schedule an STI test or learn more about testing, call Rose Women's Health at (626) 461-7071 today.

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7:00 am-4:00 pm


7:00 am-4:00 pm