Before discussing the importance of STI and STD screening, one should know about the basic difference between STI and STD. 

Difference between STI and STD

An STI is a sexually transmitted infection, and STD is a sexually transmitted disease. STI and STD are technically different things in their meanings but often they are considered the same. Having an STI means that an individual has an infection that is often the first step of disease and occur when a bacteria or virus enters the body and starts multiplying. The disturbance of normal body function or structure is considered a disease. A disease occurs when an infection is left untreated. STDs are the disease progressed from STI’s. Many STIs and STDs show no symptoms at all; that’s why STI and STD screening is considered important.

Causes of STI and STD.

STI and STD occur when a person has been sexually active, particularly with many partners. An STI can be transmitted through any sexual activity including sexual intercourse, oral sex and any other sexual activity. Ejaculation does not have to necessarily occur for an STI to pass from one person to the other. 

Furthermore, using contaminated needles in injecting drugs or using contaminated body piercing or tattooing equipment can also transmit infections like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. 

Symptoms of STI and STD.

In many cases, there are not any signs or symptoms of any infection, but normally, STIs share some common symptoms as;

  • Appearing of sores or bumps on and around a person’s genitals, thighs or butt cheeks. 
  • Weird discharge from vagina or penis. 
  • Feeling burn when you pee or/and having to pee a lot. 
  • The feeling of itching, pain, irritation and/or swelling in one’s penis, vagina, vulva or anus. 
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, body pain, swollen glands and fatigue 
  • Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge. 
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding.

STI and STD testing

It is totally dependent upon an individual’s age, sexual behaviour and other risk factors that what type of STI and STD test one needs and how often should it be screened. STI and STD screening is not always a part of a regular checkup or gynaecologist exam so one should make sure to ask for STD testing.

Talking about STI or STD testing might feel awkward but try not to be embarrassed. One should keep in mind that doctors have seen and heard it all. Getting STD tested once or often in one’s life is the responsible thing to do -it means you’re taking good care of your health. An STI or STD test should be taken in case one observed some of the symptoms or a person or his/ her partner has ever had an STD before. 

An STI and STD includes;

  • A urine test- you just pee into a cup.
  • A check swab- you rub the inside of your cheek with a soft swab to test for HIV.
  • A blood test- your nurse or doctor takes blood from your arm or a quick finger prick. 
  • A physical exam- your nurse or doctor looks at your genital area to check for warts, sores, rashes, irritations or discharge. 
  • Testing your sores- your nurse or doctor takes a sample of fluid from any sore or blisters you have with a swab. 

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