The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new information about the rise of gonorrhea—specifically an antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea. In the study, the CDC looked at data from the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project which collected data from 1991-2006.
Seventeen U.S cities collected data, in nine cities there was a low prevalence of the antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea and, in the other eight there were high volumes of the resistant gonorrhea. The goal of the study was to find out if the prevalence of resistant gonorrhea would increase the total number of gonorrhea cases in the city. In the nine cities with a low prevalence of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, total gonorrhea cases actually DECREASED from 2000-2006. The other eight cities, with a high prevalence of the resistant strand of the disease saw a double in the number of total gonorrhea cases between 2000-2006!! That’s pretty alarming.
Currently the CDC recommends using an injectable antibiotic, ceftriaxone, and one of two oral antibiotics (azithromycin or doxycycline) to treat the STI. The worry is that gonorrhea could evolve to become resistant to ceftriaxone (this is the strongest medication used to treat it). Although there have been no reports of a ceftriaxone resistant strand in the U.S, there have been reports of it in other locations, such as Europe.
Eradicating the disease from an infected individual can take a long time, even if they have been treated with antibiotics because the antibiotics simply take a long time to fully work. This means that individuals can unknowingly still spread the disease if they have unprotected sex before they have been confirmed clean of the STI. The message here is (which we can never stop reminding people): if you are sexually active, always use a barrier method, like a condom, all of the time, for the entire length of the sexual activity. The CDC also recommends getting tested for gonorrhea at least once a year…and so do we! Stop by the health center to be tested by making an appointment.
To learn more about the CDC’s findings, just visit the link below: