stf smack

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I grew up hearing the phrase “Sexually Transmitted Disease.”  I only heard of a “Sexually Transmitted Infection” towards the end of high school, if not after. I figured I would use this opportunity to explain the difference between the two and why everyone seems to be leaning more towards “STI,” although they are often used interchangeably.

First off, if you think about disease has a much more negative connotation than infection, because infections seem curable, while saying you have a disease seems more like a life-threatening, incurable situation.  Additionally, according to an article by, “STI” is for when an individual has an infection but it has not yet progressed to a disease. The example they mentioned was: A woman who carries the virus for HPV has an infection, if the HPV develops into cervical cancer, then she has a disease.  You may be asking yourself “well how do I know once it’s progressed to be considered a disease?”  The article also addresses the question! They mention that “an infection is often the first step of a disease and occurs when either bacteria, viruses or microbes enter the body and start multiplying.” However, a disease is considered to be when normal bodily functions are disrupted, such as when symptoms appear.

In the end, STI’s and STD’s have a fairly grey line for defining so use the term you feel most comfortable with for yourself, but also be mindful of others.  Also, remember to get tested regularly if you feel you are at risk for any, so that you can catch it before any symptoms may arise and get it treated properly and quickly!

~Mellow Melissa