Complications mostly affect women, including “pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility, as well as an increased risk of HIV.”
The World Health Organization has warned that cases of untreatable, antibiotic-resistant ‘gonorrhoea’ are rising because of unsafe oral sex and a decline in condom use.
Gonorrhoea can spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex, which can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat. However, reports said that the WHO is most concerned about the throat, declaring that “thrusting gonorrhea bacteria into this environment through oral sex can lead to super-gonorrhea,” the untreatable form of the disease.
Complications mostly affect women, including “pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility, as well as an increased risk of HIV.” “The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart,” said WHO human reproduction specialist Teodora Wi. “Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them.”
The WHO data from 77 countries showed that the sexually transmitted disease is becoming more resistant to antibiotics and might soon become impossible to treat.
The common sexually transmitted disease infected approximately 78 million people each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about 820,000 cases are in the United States.
The rise in the infection is due to “decreasing condom use, increased urbanization and travel, poor infection detection rates, and inadequate or failed treatment. There are no “cheap, rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests for gonorrhea,” which cases often go undiagnosed and untreated since many people infected do not have symptoms.
“These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg,” Wi said during her interview with BBC. She added that most gonorrhea infections occur in poor countries where medical research is lacking.
The director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, Manica Balasegaram also said, “It’s important to understand that ever since antibiotics appeared on the scene, Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been fairly quick in developing resistance to all the classes of antibiotics that have been thrown at it.”
WHO also stated that making new antibiotics is “not very attractive for commercial pharmaceutical companies.”
In the U.S., experts say gonorrhea is normally treated with two drugs: ceftriaxone and azithromycin but they are becoming less effective now. In 2016, a group of infections in Hawaii showed new resistance to treatment.