019: #AskAlexandra Is Herpes an STD or an STI?

[podcast src="https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5541458/height/360/width/450/theme/standard/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/" height="360" width="450" placement="top"][video_player type="youtube" style="1" dimensions="560x315" width="560" height="315" align="center" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="20" ipad_color="black"]aHR0cHM6Ly95b3V0dS5iZS9xRUtEa0xlR1Fkcw==[/video_player]


Ask, Answer & Get The Facts About Herpes


Welcome to episode 19 of Life With Herpes, I’m excited to share this #AskAlexandra episode with you! These shows are our opportunity to connect: you send in a question and I answer it on an #AskAlexandra episode. I love being able to interact with you directly so thanks for writing in! Our question for episode 19 comes from Taylor in Chicago, Illinois. Taylor wants to know if herpes is considered an STD or an STI. This is a fantastic question, join me to hear the answer on today’s Life With Herpes show.


More About Life With Herpes


Do you want to join in the fun and send in your own question? Go to Life With Herpes.com and click on the #askalexandra link. Fill out the form, check the box if you want to remain completely anonymous, and you're in!


That’s exactly what Taylor did to send in this great question: is herpes an STD or an STI?

To answer this let’s understand what each term stands for: an STD is sexaully transmitted disease, and an STI is a sexually transmitted infection. What's the difference? Up until the last decade or two, everything was an STD. After that people were saying we should call it an infection, because a disease sounds so scary!

So the term STI was used.


Which leads to the obvious question: what is the difference between an infection vs a disease? Here are the actual dictionary definitions of both:  a disease is a disorder of structure of function in a human, an animal or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location that is not a direct result of physical injury. Synonyms are illness or sickness. Bacterial meningitis is an example given.


An infection is defined as the process of infecting or the state of being infected. it's an infectious disease. Synonyms are disease or virus.

Tweetable:  “1 in 4 sexually active adults has an STD or an STI.” - Alexandra Harbushka


When you boil it down, herpes is both, in my opinion. It's the same thing: herpes is an infection and it's a disease. I don't think we're ever going to get away from the term STD, it's been a common part of our language for so long. STI is not as commonly used. People don't always recognize that STI stands for sexually transmitted infection.


Thank you for your question Taylor! If you want to be one of the cool kids like Taylor then submit your question go to the Life With Herpes web site and look for the #askalexandra link, click it and fill out the form. You can stay anonymous by checking the box, otherwise I’ll only use your first name and your city when I air your question.

Thanks again to Taylor for today’s question and to you for listening to episode 19 of Life With Herpes!

Episode Resources



There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!