First, a description…
An STI (sexually transmitted infection)—sometimes referred to as an STD (sexually transmitted disease)—is caused by a bacteria, virus, or parasite passed from one person to another through condomless sexual contact and through intimate genital to genital—skin on skin— contact without penetration.
Why “STI” (sexually transmitted infections) and not “STD” (sexually transmitted disease)?
The terms STI and STD are synonymous. “STI” is used more frequently now because of the negative association with the term “disease” and because some diseases are considered incurable. In contrast, there is usually less stigma attached to the term “infection” and many STIs are actually easily curable.
One of the most common experiences among people with STIs is showing no symptoms at all. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, be sure to speak with a doctor or nurse as soon as you can.
Symptoms of STIs can include
- The most common symptom is no symptoms at all. If in doubt, get tested.
If you notice just one symptom, get tested.
IF LEFT UNTREATED, STIs can have lasting effects on your health and fertility.
Even without a symptom, always see your doctor or sexual health service if you think you could have been exposed to an STI.