​​​​Life & Family Services



​​​​What is an STI and an STD?

Often sexually active individuals worry only about the risk of pregnancy, not realizing there is a greater risk.  You  can get pregnant if you have sex within a few days of ovulation, but you are at risk of contracting an STI each time you have sex.  You may hear the terms STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) or STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) and not know the difference.  You can have an STI without it becoming an STD.  You have an STD when the infection has caused damage and/or you have symptoms. 
Not all STIs show symptoms and it is possible to pass the infection on to another person through sex without ever having experienced symptoms. 

 It Won’t Happen to me!

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 19 million new STD infections each year, with nearly half of those occurring among young people aged 15 to 24.  Young women are especially vulnerable to these STDs.  According to the reported cases of STDs for 2008, teen girls aged 15 to 19 had the largest number of reported cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, with young women aged 20 to 24 years of age following with the second largest number of cases.

CDC estimates that undiagnosed and untreated STDs are responsible for at least 24,000 women becoming infertile each year*.  Correct and consistent condom use has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting some STIs but is not a 100% guarantee.  The only way to be 100% sure you do not contract an STI is to abstain from any form of sex until you are married and having sex with only one partner who has been tested  and is not infected with an STD. Before you say, “It won’t happen to me,” maybe you should stop and think!  If you are having sex of any form you are at risk for getting an STI or STD.

This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.

STD facts

Get the 911 on the most common STDs.  You could have an STD and not experience any symptoms.  Some STDs exist without symptoms.

Know the facts and risks!