Gonorrhea may soon be resistant to treatment
Gonorrhea is one of the most common STDs, and it appears as though its prevalence is making it more difficult to treat. Recent data suggests that the sexually transmitted infection is becoming resistant to antibiotics, according to MyHealthNewsDaily.
Almost 25 percent of gonorrhea cases in 2009 were resistant to a number of antibiotics typically used to treat the STD, such as penicillin, tetracycline and fluoroquinolenes. Data from 2010 suggests that the illness may also soon be resistant to cephalosporin, which is the only type of antibiotic that medical professionals can still use to treat gonorrhea.
"This may be the harbinger of things to come," Dr. Kimberly Workowski, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's STD subset, told the news source. "The resistance may be getting worse."
Though gonorrhea often carries no symptoms, it can develop into a number of dangerous health conditions, such as chronic pain in the pelvis and infertility for women, and a painful condition known as epididymitis in men. It may also become deadly if it spreads to the blood, but this only happens if it is left untreated.
Gonorrhea's resistance to antibiotics dates back to the 1970s, but circumstances are more dire today. Though the illness' resistance to cephalosporin is currently only seen in South East Asia, it has the potential to spread worldwide.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of the STD becoming completely resistant to antibiotic treatment. Medical experts are working to develop other drugs to treat gonorrhea, and are creating a plan should a resistant outbreak occur on a large scale. Additionally, safer sex education could help people understand the dangers of the illness.
Additionally, individuals can take steps to protect themselves from needing treatment for gonorrhea. For sexually active individuals, wearing a condom every time you have sex is one of the best methods of STD prevention.