As if there weren’t enough reasons out there to convince you to practice safe sex – add this one to your list: a new strand of gonorrhea-causing bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics is now on the loose.
This new strain of bacteria was discovered in Kyoto, Japan by scientists and ABC News reports that, ”the new strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has genetically mutated to evade cephalosporins — the only antibiotics still effective against the infection.”
Although this finding may be shocking, Neisseria gonorrhoeae is not the first bacteria to evolve into an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” – this new strain joins staphylococcus aureus (which is resistant to methicillin)and enterococci (which is resistant to vancomycin).
Yet what makes Neisseria gonorrhoeae a bit more threatening is the fact that this new strand can spread anywhere; unlike methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, which are acquired in areas where antibiotic use runs high and immune systems are weak (such as in hospitals).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC estimates that “more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year.”
The CDC reports it’s spread through contact with the vagina, penis, anus, mouth and can even be transmitted from mother to baby during birth.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Well an obvious way to protect yourself from STIs is to refrain from any sexual contact, but considering you’re reading MSP – I can only assume that abstinence may not be 100% realistic.
So here are some other routes that can also be effective in warding off STIs:
- TALK WITH YOUR PARTNER. Regardless whether you’re in a long-term relationship with one person or you’re taking the ‘flavor of the week’ route, discussing your sexual health is a must – even if it’s just making sure protection is used. It’s better to be persistent and safe than infected and sorry.
- GET TESTED. Even if you’ve been with the same partner for a steady period of time, it never hurts to get tested. Better to know (for sure) that you’re clean rather than assuming you are – especially because not everyone is completely honest about their personal hygiene.
- WRAP IT UP.
Condoms, when used correctly, can reduce the transfer of bodily fluids and diseases. So if you’re going to part take in intercourse, your best bet is taking sure some type of protection is involved.
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