Gonorrhea May Soon Be Untreatable

Photographed by Jessica Nash.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is treatable with antibiotics, but that may soon change. According to STAT, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that the bacterial disease is developing a resistance to the drugs that are being used to cure it. The CDC has found that there is an increasing number gonorrhea cases that have become resistant to the two drugs which are used in combination to treat the STD, azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The rise in untreatable cases is small, but scientists say it is a warning of what could happen if these numbers are ignored, especially since gonorrhea is quite common. In 2014, more than 350,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with the STD. If gonorrhea goes untreated, it can cause infertility or chronic pelvic pain in women and, in rare cases, testicular pain and infertility for men. A pregnant woman with untreated gonorrhea can also infect her baby during childbirth, which can lead to an vision-threatening eye infection. Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy, an author of the CDC report, told STAT that the reason we must all take this study seriously is because "this bacteria has demonstrated the ability, repeatedly, to develop antibiotic resistance to the drugs that have been used for it.” Kirkcaldy said that the potential for "untreatable gonorrhea is a very real possibility in the future," even going as far to say "it’s a matter of when, and not if, with resistance." Kirkcaldy added, “This bug is so smart and can mutate so rapidly.”

More from Body

R29 Original Series