Ever since the term “super gonorrhea” has hit the mainstream media, many lobbyists and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been concerned about the long-term ramifications of the anticipated outbreak.
According to The Washington Times, William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition for STD Directors, attended two congressional briefings to ask lawmakers to extend more than$53 million in federal funding to help stop this possible public health risk.
“Experts agree that it’s not a matter of if gonorrhea-resistance will not, it’s a matter of when it will hit,” Smith explained to the Times.
The sexually transmitted disease (STD) became curable in the 1940s after the discovery of penicillin and other strong antibiotics. However, like any other life form, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea has changed over time. Because it constantly mutates and adapts to its environment, the need for new and better medicine is important.
This January, health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that drugs previously used to stop the spread of gonorrhea were no longer effective in treating the disease. Gonorrhea is the second-most commonly reported STD in the United States behind chlamydia, and having no treatment could pose major health concerns for U.S. citizens.
The CDC also noted that gonorrhea is asymptomatic, so it is possible to continue to spread the disease without even knowing it. This is why the need for adequate STD testing and prevention is so crucial for keeping sexual health in balance.
Until scientists come up with new pharmaceuticals to treat gonorrhea, lawmakers and health officials will need to urge better prevention measures to combat this bacteria. However, frequent STD testing and practicing safer sex can help stop the spread of infection, and are things that you will need to do for your sexual health, especially if you have active partners.