From VD to STD to STI: Evolution of Sex Disease Nomenclature

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While the diseases have remained fairly constant, how America calls the collection of sex diseases has changed over the last 40 years.

Back in the 1970s, it was called VD. Venereal diseases (VD). Where VD was something only soldiers, sailors and prostitutes could get.

After AIDs made its way onto the scene, we started calling it STD. Sexually Transmitted Diseases so that we could include AIDs, which infects the entire body, and also infected large swaths of America beyond just soldiers, sailors and prostitutes.

Now, the name has morphed again to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). While STD and STI are used interchangeably. The term STI didn’t appear until after 2010.

Now a days, whether you call it an STD, VD or STI it includes the same collection of sexually passed pathogens. Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes I and Herpes II, HPV, AIDs, HIV, Chlamydia, Hepatitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Trichomoniasis, Chancroid, scabies and more

The best way to avoid any STI, STD or VD during sex is to use a condom.