HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is the virus that causes AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. But you may be wondering, what’s the difference between HIV and an STD or STI? HIV is caused by the HIV virus, which can only be passed from person to person during sexual intercourse with an infected person without protection. STDs and STIs, on the other hand, are caused by bacteria or viruses that can be spread through sexual contact or unprotected sex with an infected person.
WHAT IS HIV?
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This means that it can only be passed on through sex, either vaginal, anal, or oral. It cannot be passed on by kissing someone with HIV. In order to get HIV you need to have unprotected sex with someone who has the virus or come into contact with their bodily fluids, including but not limited to blood, semen, and breast milk.
If you are concerned about contracting HIV, always use condoms! They will help protect against both sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections. The risk of getting HIV increases significantly if one partner has another sexually transmitted infection as well.
For example, people living with gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis are much more likely to pass along HIV if they also do not wear a condom during sex than those who don't have any other infections.
WHAT IS AN STD?
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are passed from one person to another through sex. These are often known as STDs. Some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. There are many different types of sexually transmitted diseases and they range in severity from mild to life-threatening.
Some people might think that a sexually transmitted disease is the same thing as a sexually transmitted infection but this is not true. A sexually transmitted infection is any type of bacteria or virus that can be contracted during sexual contact. For example, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a sexually transmitted infection because it can only be caught by sexual contact with someone who already has the virus.
SO, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIV AND AN STD/STI?
HIV is a sexually transmitted disease, which means it is spread through sexual contact. Other sexually transmitted diseases are passed from person to person during sex in various ways, such as through vaginal fluids, semen, and blood. Sexually transmitted infections, on the other hand, can be spread by skin-to-skin contact. Examples of STIs include bacterial vaginosis, genital herpes and chlamydia. You may also have heard of AIDS - this does not refer to a sexually transmitted infection but rather one that affects the immune system.
If you're sexually active, it's important to know that you can only contract an STI if you have had sex with someone who has one! It doesn't matter what kind of sex you've been having, whether oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse: It's all about the sharing of bodily fluids.
If you do get an STI/STD (or think you might have one), don't panic: There are many treatment options available for most sexually transmitted diseases. Plus, some sexually transmitted infections can be prevented with safe sex practices such as using condoms correctly and consistently every time. So go out there and enjoy yourself without being scared!