Sexual Health news - Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is on the loose

A new antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea is on the loose and there is no stopping it as of yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a worldwide alert proclaiming that this sexually transmitted infection (STI) is spreading at a fast rate.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial STI, which can easily grow in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract. Men tend to know they have symptoms right away, whereas women do not. Despite this, around 700,000 individuals in the U.S. are diagnosed with gonorrhea each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The WHO has produced a public health initiative to spread the word through a multi-lingual video that discusses the threat in an alluring and attention-grabbing way. It was designed to appeal to the population at risk in a comedic fashion - for example, some ads depict fires coming from the genital areas needing to be put out with a fire extinguisher - but also accurately inform the severity of the issue.

This new antibiotic-resistant strain has no current treatment, since cephalosporins - the class of antibiotics that have previously worked when others have failed - do not appear to be responding to the bacteria, which are able to mutate rapidly, according to the CDC. Non-resistant strains are usually easy to treat.

The WHO intends on working to address this issue quickly with an action plan that involves greater oversight into antibiotic use, increased efforts to develop new drugs to fight against antibiotic resistance, global monitoring for new appearances of the bacteria and better prevention and control of gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea may be prevented by using condoms consistently and correctly. A urine test can be used to diagnose gonorrhea.