Gonorrhea cases have gone up by 25 percent in England, and doctors are scared the sexually transmitted disease will soon become resistant to antibiotics. The Health Protection Agency called the gonorrhea threat "very concerning", but they also warned that the total number of STDs had gone up two percent. Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, often has no symptoms. Nonetheless, gonorrhea can result in nasty complications including infertility. The one redeeming factor is that the disease, which is caused by a bacteria, is quite easy to treat with a course of antibiotics if it is caught early on. But that could be changing now, according to a new report.
"[The gonorrhoea bacterium] is very successful at developing resistance to every treatment used in the past few decades," Cathy Ison, gonorrhea expert at the HPA, said. "We are worried that in the next five years, or some point in the future, that this is going to be a very difficult infection to treat." She noted that all strains of gonorrhea are currently treatable, but that there is no new and more powerful drug available when that changes. There has been a drop in new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in recent years, but now they're going up again with 427,000 new reported cases of gonorrhea alone, the HPA said. Apparently, this has something to do with sexually risky behavior being increasingly socially acceptable.
The HPA is worried about at-risk groups and looking into a strategy to stop STD cases from rising even more. In the meantime, the British government's statements about STD prevention basically boil down to good old sex ed. The Department of Health, which is the British health ministry, released a statement saying: "Sexually transmitted infections can lead to infertility and other serious health problems. The message is clear. Whatever your age, you should always use a condom." If you're pregnant, don't think twice about getting tested for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases, because they can do a lot of harm. A recent study shows pregnant women are not getting STD tests. Don't be one of them!