Drug-resistant gonorrhea is on the rise, and health officials are concerned
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Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement that should further encourage people to practice safer sex. According to the WHO, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea continue to spread to countries across the world. Reuters reports that millions of patients may run out of treatment options unless doctors catch and treat cases of this sexually transmitted infection (STI) earlier.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, untreated gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in both men and women, such as infertility. Usually, this STI is cured with a course of antibiotics. However, in 2011 scientists reported that they had a found a "super" strain of this STI that does not respond to drugs.
"Gonorrhea is becoming a major public health challenge," said Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, from the WHO's department of reproductive health and research, quoted by Reuters. "We are very concerned about recent reports of treatment failure from the last effective treatment option - the class of cephalosporin antibiotics."
This STI is one of the most common in the world. According to the news source, the United Nation's health agency does not know exactly how many people have contracted drug-resistant gonorrhea, but it estimates that the number is in the millions. Experts believe that the best way to keep this STI from becoming even more resistant to drugs is to treat it with two or more types of antibiotics at the same time.
Gonorrhea may be prevented by practicing safer sex through using condoms. All sexually active individuals should consider visiting STI testing centers in their area to make sure that they are not infected with gonorrhea. The WHO added that early detection is the key to reducing the transmission of this and other STIs.
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