Do you know what an STI is?

STI could easily mean “Silent Transmitted Infection”, but in reality it is a “Sexually Transmitted Infection”.  And very common at that — more than half of our population will get an STI or STD at some time in our lives.

Contracting an sexually transmitted infection doesn’t happen from poor hygiene. It doesn’t always mean you’re promiscuous. Having an infection simply means that you’ve contracted an infection from a sexual partner that may have no clue they’re even carrying one. Because many infections have no symptoms (hence the word “silent”) it’s no wonder sexually transmitted infections are on the rise.

What’s the difference between an STI and an STD?  

In medical terms, an infection becomes a disease when symptoms are caused. For example, a woman who has HPV (Human Papilloma Virus, the most common STI) has the HPV infection. She doesn’t have symptoms, but is carrying the virus. Once HPV, or any infection becomes active, it is then an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). HPV can develop into STD’s such as cervical cancer or genital warts.

Chlamydia or Gonorrhea are also infections which can have no symptoms, yet if left untreated can develop into PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) which has damaging consequences on a woman’s reproductive organs.  Most importantly, infections are curable if testing and treatment occurs, but not all STD’s are curable.

Here are 3 misconceptions about STI’s and STD’s:

    You will know if/when you contract one.
Infections can be silent for months or even years and exhibit no symptoms. An STI can be transmitted while asymptomatic.

    You can’t have an STI if you’re a virgin.
Infections can be spread orally, through contact with broken skin, or any-genital contact, as well  as IV needles and mother to baby during child birth. A virgin can also spread STI’s and STD’s.

    You can only get an STI from another person.
You can contract an infection from a sex toy or fluid on a surface that has an active live culture.

These are just some of facts about STI’s & STD’s. The bottom line is, if you are sexually active get tested — whether you notice anything or not. Even the most careful among us can contract them.

For more information go directly to the CDC website at: or call us at 703-729-1123 to discuss your questions and concerns. At Mosaic, we can also schedule a free STI test when you’re ready, and free treatment if needed.

* ( is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).