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When it comes to sexual health, is there a difference between a disease and an infection?

  • std
  • sti


"Does STD have a different meaning than STI? If so, what is the difference?"

- Anonymous


Thank you for the question! Hopefully this answer will clear this issue up for you an other people on the internet who are searching for the same answer.

Some institutions choose to use the STI acronym instead of STD. STI stands for sexually tranmitted infection whereas STD stands for sexually transmitted disease.

It is important to understand that these acronyms are used interchangeably on this website.

Some clinics or healthcare institutions prefer to use the STI acronym for vague, politically-correction reasons. This is mainly because the term disease can have connotations that point to clear medical problems with impossible-to-miss symptoms or signs. That being said, some STDs do not have symptoms; because of this, some institutions prefer to use the term infection instead of disease.

We do not like to mince words here at STDAware. In all honesty, the distinction between the two terms is non-existent. Since "STD" is more commonly used in everyday speech, we prefer to use the term that is more easily recognizable to people.

There are lots and lots of STDs out there. The ones we focus on at STDAware are the ones that are the most prevalent in the United States. These are: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes (both oral and genital), HIV and Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

This may seem like it is a trivial question to answer, but we receive it a lot. This is why we felt like it was important to answer the question on our website. We hope this clears things up for you! Always practice safe sex. 

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