According to Bloomberg, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that gonorrhoea may become untreatable as the improper use of antibiotics reduces their ability to clear the sexually transmitted infection.

Bloomberg reports that “there is now ‘widespread resistance’ to cheaper first- line antibiotics against the bacterium that causes gonorrhoea, the WHO’s Western Pacific regional office said in a statement [on Thursday]. The agency said Australia, Hong Kong and Japan have reported treatment failures with cephalosporin, a class of antibiotics that’s the last line of defense against the disease.”

Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, commented on the news: “Hearing this report is a major concern. Not only can gonorrhoea have major health consequences, such as inflammation of the joints and septicaemia, but also it can considerably increase the likelihood of HIV being transmitted. HIV positive men with gonorrhoea will be more infectious. HIV negative men with gonorrhoea will be more vulnerable to HIV infection.

“It is a reminder that prevention is the best way to look after our sexual health. Gonorrhoea is easier to transmit than HIV and can be passed on by rimming or oral sex. Sometimes the symptoms may not be noticeable so, even if you always have safer sex, if you have lots of sexual partners you should get checked out regularly. As gay men, using condoms for anal sex, and reducing the numbers of men you have sex with, are the most reliable ways to protect ourselves and our partners against HIV and will prevent many cases of gonorrhoea, as well as other STIs.”

Information about STIs, their transmission, prevention and treatment, can be found on GMFA’s Sex and Sexual Health website at www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

To read the full article, visit: https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/news/2010-04-29/gonorrhea-may-become-untreatable-as-antibiotics-wane-who-says.html

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