STDs are a serious threat in the world today. Many clinics offer free STD testing, and you’ll find that most lifestyle websites offer the sage advice to use condoms! STDs are nothing you want, and you’d do well to avoid them.
There are many things that have been done to prevent the spread of STDs, but sometimes people get careless, sloppy. They neglect to take precautions, and they end of giving the STD that they have to someone else.
Gonorrhea is one of the many STDs that you’ll run into these days, and it’s one of the hardest to treat. To make things worse, it may very well be turning into a super virus!
The Super-Plague of Gonorrhea
According to the CDC, gonorrhea is becoming more and more of a threat in a number of areas around the United States. Between 1996 and 2006, the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project collected data from around the country on the prevalence of gonorrhea. They looked not only at the normal cases, but also at the cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.
In a few cities–nine in all–there were few cases of drug-resistant gonorrhea, and these cities saw a decline in the problem by the year 2006. However, in the eight cities where there were a significant number of drug-resistant gonorrhea cases, the number of cases increased by the year 2006. With 820,000 cases of gonorrhea diagnosed in the U.S. every year, that’s a big increase!
Why is this? It is because the disease is adapting and becoming more and more resistant to the drugs being used to treat it. For example, before 2007, the drug ciprofloxacin was used to treat the disease. However, since then, it stopped being used altogether simply because the disease became resistant to the drug. Now, a combination of drugs–ceftriaxone and azithromycin or doxycycline–is used to treat the problem.
The issue here is that medications aren’t always effective at getting rid of the problem completely. For those who stop taking the antibiotic before the pathogens causing the disease is totally gone, those pathogens still remaining in the body can develop a resistance to the drug. When the STD comes back around or is passed on to others, it has built up that resistance and thus is less affected by the medication used to treat it.
This can be a very serious problem, and there is a serious concern that gonorrhea may soon become resistant to the drug ceftriaxone. This drug is the strongest treatment for this STD available anywhere in the world, and a strain of gonorrhea resistant to this medication could be a super-STD that is near impossible to get rid of.
Thankfully, there are no cases of STDs resistant to this drug in the U.S., but there have been reports from Japan and Europe that indicate the development of drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea that do not respond to this very strong treatment. If this were to be the case, the entire world could soon be facing a very serious risk of super-STDs.
What can you do about it? For one, get yourself tested for STDs at least once a year, recommends the CDC. They also recommend using condoms no matter where you are or who you are with, as that’s the only safe way to be certain that you are not exposed to the STD. Anyone that is infected should be treated IMMEDIATELY, and should refrain from having unprotected sex in order to reduce the risk of passing the disease on.