Watch Out: Some Strains of Gonorrhea Are Becoming Uncurable
If you’ve ever watched Degrassi (a.k.a the show that Drake was on before he was Drake), you’ll remember that one time that Emma caught gonorrhea.
As an “innocent” little 10-year-old, I watched as Emma’s character started coughing, went to the school nurse, and suddenly was diagnosed with gonorrhea. How often this actually happens in affluent Toronto high schools, we might never know. But the good news is that most STDs are curable — right?
Thanks to pure carelessness and the ignorant belief that only “slutty” people can get infected, people aren’t as cautious as they should be when having unprotected sex.
Unfortunately, it’s attitudes like this that have bolstered the STD rate in the past year. And while many diseases are curable, some are deadly. In fact, some previously “curable” diseases are morphing into a new un-treatable strain.
England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies recently issued a statement warning people of a new resistance of gonorrhea to certain drugs.
Gonorrhea made headlines last spring when cases of a “super gonorrhea” sprung up in England. 16 cases of this strain, named for its resistance to a drug called azithromycin, have been recognized since.
Doctors warn that if this strain spreads and/or future strains continue to be resistant to azithromycin, it will be extremely difficult to treat future cases of the disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that “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.”
The scariest part of this all is that many forms of gonorrhea leave the infected person with little to no symptoms. While some cases are plagued by painful urination, discharge, or swollen testicles, other cases have no signals whatsoever.
If you needed some motivation to get tested, this is it. The more that people ignore the threat of STDs and forego protection, the stronger that STDs get. Get tested, and encourage your friends (and partners) to get tested as well.