Essentially, STDs and STIs are similar, and most people use the terms interchangeably. The health world is embracing more use of the term STI especially because it does not carry a negative stigma like STD. Health advisors do not refer to the STIs as diseases but as infections. STDS are not a new phenomenon since they have existed for many decades and evoke negative connotations among people. The two terms are not interchangeable since STI is an infection whereas STD is a disease.
Technically, STIs and STDs have some slight differences. An STI is an infection that has not developed to become a disease, for instance, HPV (human papillomavirus). An individual infected with HPV does not display any symptoms despite being a career of the virus. If the virus causes a more complex health issue such as cervical cancer, the situation is an STD since cancer is a fully developed disease (Martín et al. 26). STIs fall under the category of infections whereas STDS are diseases. An infection is the initial stage of an illness and results from the penetration of disease-causing bacteria, virus, or microbes into the body which multiplies into big numbers. Infections develop into diseases when the virus, bacteria, or microbe present in the body disrupts the body’s normal functioning and structure and the individual displays outward signs (Minichiello et al. 179).
In conclusion, all STDs begin as STIs and, medically speaking, an STI that develops into a disease is an STD. A majority of the STIs do not show signs, and the victims cannot thus know they have the infection without getting tested. Having an STI does not translate to an STD since not all cases of infection will mature into a disease, for instance, approximately 20 million American have the HPV infection, yet only1 percent of the sexually active population have genital warts, a disease caused by HPV infection.
Martín, J. M., G. Villalón, and E. Jordá. “Update on the treatment of genital herpes.” Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition) 100.1 (2009): 22-32.
Minichiello, Victor, et al. “STI epidemiology in the global older population: emerging challenges.” Perspectives in public health 132.4 (2012): 178-181.