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STI vs STD? Connecting the Dots Between Infection and Disease


Fact: One in two sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25. That’s why your decision to get tested and treated is a big one. But how do you know if you have an STI or an STD?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused when one person passes bacteria to another person during sex.  The infection from the bacteria isn’t a disease until you start feeling bad from symptoms. If you are infected with an STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea, you probably won’t feel any symptoms at first, and if you do, they will be too mild to notice. If you don’t get tested and treated with an antibiotic, the bacteria that started the infection will result in disease. Disease means the infection is making you sick, putting you at risk for something more serious like pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and cancer.

Sex  + Bacteria + Infection = Disease

That’s why it’s important for you to get tested early on, before you start feeling symptoms. When is a good time to get tested? Right after you’ve had unprotected sex.

Sex + Bacteria + Infection + Test + Treatment = Cure

Protect yourself by stopping the infection (STI) before it becomes disease (STD). We’ll test and treat you for free at My Health Options for chlamydia and gonorrhea if you fall between the ages of 14 and 25. If you feel embarrassed or scared about getting tested, it might help to think of an STI like a sore throat or any other infection that you’ll need to have treated before you can get better.

If you’re like most of us, you prefer the word infection to the word disease because an infection is something everyone comes down with sooner or later and is often easily treated. Medical experts agree that saying you have an infection doesn’t sound as threatening as saying you have a disease. But doing nothing about any infection is bad for your health. The only way you can know for sure if you have an STI and stop the infection in its tracks before it becomes a disease (STD) is to get tested.

So,whether you say STI or STD, if you’re at risk from having unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex…

-Check it before you wreck it!

GYT @ My Health Options – FREE STD Testing in Camden County (25 and younger)