Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Drug-resistant gonorrhea becoming major problem for healthcare professionals

Gonorrhea is already the second most reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, but the bacterial infection may have just gotten a bit scarier for sexually active individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the antibiotic resistance of gonorrhea bacteria has progressively developed over the years and now can't simply be handled with an antibiotic in pill form. Currently, the CDC's STD treatment guidelines state that a person infected with gonorrhea will have to undergo dual therapy of injections like cephalosporin ceftriaxone in tandem with common drugs like doxycycline and azithromycin to effectively treat and kill the bacteria.

In the early '90s, drugs like ciprofloxacin and cephalosporin were the ideal treatments for gonorrhea, but as the decade wore on, researchers began to spot resistance to the drug in areas like Hawaii and the West Coast. By 2010, nearly 27.2 percent of isolates were resistant to previously effective cures like penicillin, tetracycline and many other common antimicrobials.

According to the University of Delaware's The Review, many scientists believe that the gonorrhea infection has been allowed to spread more easily through oral sex than traditional methods. This has led bacterial infections like gonorrhea and viruses like the human papillomavirus (HPV) to mutate and become resistant to drugs that would have eradicated them in the past.

"I think what's happening as far as oral sex is that it has become so common and people don't use latex, polyurethane or isopropylene condoms because they think it's safe," sex therapist Amy Miron told the news source. "It's the HPV virus whether it's in your throat, your vagina or your rectum."

According to the CDC, more than 700,000 people contract gonorrhea each year, and many of the infection's most common symptoms won't manifest themselves immediately. Typically, the disease causes burning during urination and a pus discharge from the genitals, but if it is left untreated, it can also lead to chronic pelvic pain in women and could make those infected more susceptible to contracting the HIV virus.

Ultimately, public health professionals are warning sexuallyactive individuals to take the right precautions when being intimate with someone else by using all forms of protection to stay safe and free of disease. With viruses and bacteria becoming increasingly difficult to treat, it falls on people to do the right things to protect themselves.