For many years, those in the medical community have used “Sexually Transmitted Disease” or “STD” to refer to the infection and/or symptoms caused by harmful bacteria transmitted during sexual activity. However, the term “disease” has caused a heightened sense of stigma surrounding these infections. This stigma can cause many consequences, such as individuals avoiding STD testing, which perpetuates the spread of infection. Partners may not be honest with one another about their sexual history, which can also spread disease.

The reality is, most people have had or will have an STD during their life. In fact, over 1 in 2 Americans will contract an STD in their lifetime. If infection rates are so common, why is there so much stigma surrounding STDs?

In an effort to turn the stigma tide, health experts have made a distinction between STDs and Sexually Transmitted Infections–or STIs. So what’s the difference?

An STI remains an STI unless it causes symptoms, in which case it becomes an STD. And because many STIs don’t cause symptoms, most of these previously-defined “diseases” remain as infections.

With time, health experts hope this clarification will help individuals not be ashamed of their sexual health history, which will promote increased testing and honesty with their partners.

However, this doesn’t mean that STIs should be taken lightly! Infections can still cause serious health effects, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, sterility, and more. That’s why it’s still crucial to get tested frequently.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.