While they sound similar, STDs and STIs are not the same. STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, whereas STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. Their differences are not just within the names, however. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to provide you with all of the information you need to stay safe. For more information on the STDs we test and provide treatment for, visit us here.
What’s the difference?
The biggest difference between the two is one is an infection, and the other is a disease. To differentiate between those terms, diseases disrupt one’s life by showing signs they are there. An infection happens when microorganisms impact the body, and they begin to multiply but do not show any symptoms. STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be present in the body without showing any signs. Many common STIs are asymptomatic, and they can be present without you knowing. All STDs start as STIs until they progress to diseases and show symptoms. If left untreated, some STIs can cause life-altering conditions such as infertility and Epididymitis.
When to get tested
Getting tested is the only way to know for certain if you have an STI. If you are a sexually active adult, the CDC recommends getting tested annually. You should also plan on getting tested if you have unprotected sex with a new partner, are pregnant, or have multiple sexual partners. Some STIs, however, do have an incubation period. This means that it may take a few days or weeks for STIs to show up on blood or urine tests, so getting tested automatically may produce a false negative. If you think you have been exposed to an STI, talk to a healthcare provider no matter how much time has passed.
What happens next?
If your test comes back negative, continue getting annual screenings, and use protection. This is the best way to keep yourself and your partner safe.
If your test comes back positive, depending on the result, there are antibiotics you can take that will clear up a bacterial infection. Some infections can be cleared up with topical treatment. For viral medications, there is no treatment that will completely clear it up. There are medications, however, that can decrease the symptoms and help suppress the risk of transmission to another person. Always use some form of protection, and let your partner know the situation.
For more information on STIs or STDs, call our clinic. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to help keep you happy and healthy.