On The Rise: Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, one of the most commonly reported STDs in the United States, has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs typically prescribed to treat it. In 2012 the World Health Organization issued an alert that there was an impending threat for an untreatable form of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea that could potentially initiate an epidemic. In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated about 30% of new gonorrhea cases are no longer treatable with the usual drugs, stating that the bacteria that causes this STD is an “Immediate public health threat that requires urgent and aggressive action.”

In another release they added that it would be much more difficult to treat gonorrhea, saying, “The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate the ability of providers to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, well-tolerated and highly effective.”

Below is an overview from the CDC on how antibiotic resistance happens. Thankfully, because gonorrhea is spread through sexual body fluids, condoms and other latex/ plastic barriers are pretty effective against exposure when used correctly and consistently. If left untreated, gonorrhea can pose a serious health risk and cause permanent damage in both men and women.

– Nikita

Antibiotic resistance

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