What’s the Difference Between STDs and STIs?
You’ve probably heard of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and often these terms are used interchangeably, but they actually mean two different things. An STD refers to a disease, which is a medical issue that normally has clear signs or symptoms. However, in the case of some STDs, the symptoms are either not felt or are small enough that they can be ignored. Because of this, the term STI has started to become more popular, as it refers to a sexually transmitted pathogen that causes an “infection” that could later result in “disease.”
How Common are STDs in Leon County?
In a 2018 study conducted by the Florida Department of Health, it was found that Leon County had the highest rate of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Bacterial STDs as a whole in the entire state of Florida. Here are some of the statistics:
- Bacterial STDs: 1,602 cases per 100,000 residents
- Chlamydia: 1,159 cases per 100,000 residents
- Gonorrhea: 378 cases per 100,000 residents
- Infectious Syphilis: 23 cases per 100,000 residents (5th highest in Florida)
- Early Syphilis: 49 cases per 100,000 residents (6th highest in Florida)
- Congenital Syphilis: 136 cases per 100,000 residents
How Can You Get an STD/STI?
The truth is that anyone who is sexually active is at risk of getting an STD. The only surefire way to avoid STDs is to not have sex, or be in a monogamous relationship where both you and your partner have had no previous partners. This is why it’s important when entering into a new relationship that you both get tested to know for sure that neither of you have an STD. Condoms lessen the risk of transmitting STDs, but you can still get STDs, such as herpes and HPV, from physical contact with your partner, even if they are using a condom.
Why is STD/STI Testing Important?
With almost every other physical illness we experience, there are always signs you can be on the lookout for. When you feel that something in your body is off, you make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked on. However, with STIs and STDs, they often don’t present with noticeable symptoms, and when they do, it’s easy to mistake them for other common infections. When it comes to Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, symptoms commonly present in men, but are much less likely to present in women. For example, in cases of Chlamydia, only 25% of women experience symptoms, compared to a 50% rate for men. That’s why it’s important to get regularly tested for STIs and STDs. Even if you don’t think you have one, the only way to know for sure and protect your health is to get a test.
What Does an STD Test Entail?
The good news is that getting an STD test is a quick and painless process. At A Women’s Pregnancy Center, we use finger pricks to test for syphilis and HIV, vaginal self swabs for women testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, BV, and trich, and urine samples for men testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia. After your testing, our medical staff can then answer all of your questions about your results, as well as recommend treatment and prevention options.
Contact A Women’s Pregnancy Center
If you are sexually active, you owe it to yourself and your partner to get tested for STDs. If left untreated, a sexually transmitted infection can result in more serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and high-risk pregnancies. A Women’s Pregnancy Center offers confidential STI/STD testing for men and women in our community at a very low cost and no copay. Schedule your appointment with us today by calling or texting 850-297-1174.