What’s the Difference Between STIs and STDs?

April 9, 2021


Both STDs and STIs refer to infections that are transmitted through sex. It’s estimated that by age 25, one in two Americans will have contracted an STI. Understanding both STDs and STIs and how they can be prevented is the key to avoiding getting them. April is STD Awareness Month, and at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills, your health is our priority. That is why we provide convenient and confidential STD testing for all patients.


STD stands for sexually transmitted disease, and STI is for sexually transmitted infection. Both of these terms are very similar and can be used interchangeably, but what is the difference? Sexually transmitted diseases always start as an infection. An infection first begins when bacteria or a virus enter the body and begin to multiply. From there, they will develop into a disease.

Besides the names, this is truly the only difference between STI and STD. All forms of STDs can be transmitted through oral or anal sex as well.

When Should I Get Tested?

It’s important to get tested frequently depending on your level of sexual activity. Many physicians recommend getting tested annually or after having unprotected sex with a new partner. It’s best to wait a few weeks after sex to get tested, however, as some tests may come back negative even though a patient is infected. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs, and they take about two weeks to show up on a test.

Additionally, many STDs are asymptomatic. This means you will not show any signs or symptoms of having an infection, so that you may be unknowingly passing infections to other partners. This is why it’s still important to get tested even if you are in a monogamous relationship. All tests are diagnosed and analyzed in our on-site lab.

STDs such as chlamydia can cause long-term damage to a patient if it is left untreated. Some potential long-term impacts include infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, or cervical cancer.

Get an STD Test at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills

AFC Urgent Care Short Hills provides STD testing for all patients on a walk-in basis. Our physicians can help diagnose and provide treatment to help you feel your best. Visit our center at 704 Morris Tpke, or give us a call for more information at 973-671-5350.


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