It used to be that if you found out you had gonorrhea you went to the doctor, got a penicillin shot, hopefully learned from your mistake and moved on. Researchers say now, though, this disease is fast becoming a superbug for which no antibiotic can cure.
Last year almost a quarter of the gonorrhea strains tested in the United States were resistant to the drugs used to treat it. Tests show that the disease is getting even stronger against the only group of antibiotics doctors have left that work.
“Penicillin was used for many years until it was no longer effective and a number of other agents have been used since” said Professor Catherine Ison.” The current drugs of choice, ceftriaxone and cefixime, are still very effective, but there are signs that resistance particularly to cefixime is emerging and soon these drugs may not be a good choice”.
If gonorrhea can no longer be treated it could spread to your blood or joints, and could eventually kill you. It could lead to additional complications including chronic pain and infertility in woman, or epididymitis, an extremely painful infection inside men’s testicles.
While the World Health Organization and the CDC are working to prevent this crisis you can do your part by making an appointment for a full screening for sexually transmitted diseases with your doctor or clinic. In the meantime, always practice safe sex if you are sexually active.
Gonorrhea is the second most common of all bacterial sexually transmitted infections and African Americans make up 70 percent of all new cases reported, the majority of which are women between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. This disease usually doesn’t have any symptoms for infected women, making it difficult to even know you have it if you’re not being tested on a regular basis.