The difference, really, is in the terminology itself. Way back in the day, sexually transmitted infections were called “venereal diseases,” believed to have been so-called after the Goddess of Love, Venus.
Today, professionals use the terms STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection) to discuss infections that are transmitted from one infected person to another through vaginal, anal or oral sex or through close intimate sexual contact. Using either STD or STI is accurate, however more and more “STI” is being used as the most up-to-date term. The reason for this is that people can have an infection without it actually turning into a disease. Check out our Uncovering STDs tool to see a master list of STDs and learn how they are transmitted.