STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are much more common than you might realize, and the reality is that people often have no signs or symptoms, which makes transmission easy. So how do you protect yourself?
STIs and STDs: What’s the Difference?
An STI is a sexually transmitted infection. It becomes a disease only when it begins to cause symptoms. Some STIs never develop into a disease, but testing is still incredibly important. The most common STIs are caused by bacteria, and antibiotics will usually cure them. However, if an STI is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t work.
For virus-based STIs, you’ll need an antiviral to keep symptoms under control and lower the risk of transmitting.
STDs are sexually transmitted diseases that are caught through sexual acts, including oral sex. Examples of STDs are chlamydia, crabs (pubic lice), gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, HIV, and trichomoniasis.