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14th May 2019

There’s a big difference between having an STD and an STI, did you know that?

Good to know!

Denise Curtin


Nobody likes talking about sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or sexually transmitted infections (STI). It can feel embarrassing to discuss and often, make you feel ashamed.

But the thing is, they are a LOT more common than you think.

An STD or an STI can be contracted from having unprotected sex. Both oral and intercourse and it’s vitally important to get checked by your GP if you’ve had unprotected sex, ever. Most viruses and conditions are easy to treat with antibiotics and the sooner you treat them, the better for both your health and your fertility.

But aside from the general notes on sexually transmitted diseases and infections, there is actually a big difference between an STD and an STI, one that people don’t know.

Usually, people think if they have an STI or an STD, they can use both acronyms to describe it, but that is actually untrue.

According to Women’s Health, they spoke to Angela Jones, an M.D for Healthy Woman Obstetrics and Gynaecology and she explained the difference.

“You can have an infection, such as chlamydia, without symptoms. Disease simply means that symptoms of said ailment are present and we only describe things as diseases when symptoms are present.”

So basically, when no symptoms are present, which is often the case with infections and sexual viruses like Chlamydia and Syphilis, it is referred to as an STI. We only refer to things as diseases when symptoms are present and they’re seen as symptomatic. Otherwise, it’s an STI.

Often for many, being able to call it an “infection” instead of a “disease” makes patients feel more comfortable when seeking medical help.

Regardless, it is important to get checked and you can read all about what to expect from your first check here.