STD stands for sexually transmitted disease, which are illnesses and infections which are transmitted through sexual activity such as vaginal, anal, and oral sex. STDs are also called sexually transmitted infection (STI) and venereal disease (VD), although there is a slight difference in definition between an disease (STD or VD) and an infection (STI). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in the United States there are 20 million new infections each year, 110 million total infections, and a total medical cost of $16 billion.
What’s the difference between an STD and an STI?
If you have a disease, you feel sick or show symptoms and generally know that something is wrong. If you have an infection, you may not show any symptoms or feel sick, and you may have no idea that you are infected. Since many of those infected with STDs/STIs – particularly women – do not show any symptoms, STI is the preferred term.
What kind of health problems do STDs cause?
Sexually transmitted diseases cause different symptoms, which include painful urination, discharge from the penis or vagina, and itching and burning in the genitals. Left untreated, STDs can lead to a variety of complications, including cancer, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), issues during pregnancy, widespread infection, and in some cases death. Individuals with other STDs are also at a higher risk of contracting HIV. That is why STD testing is a must and todays there are at home STD tests, so anyone can get tested at home.
Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Bacterial and parasitic STDs can be cured while viral STDs cannot. However, in many cases viral STDs can be controlled through proper treatment.