Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s super-gonorrhoea!

if Brexit, global warming, and general day-to-day death-defying insanity of living in London weren’t enough, we’ve now got brand new unpleasant STI to contend with.

Super gonorrhoea is brand new to the party, and it’s a vile beast. But there’s no point being terrified. It’s here to stay, so the best thing to do is educate ourselves on how best to prevent it, and/or how best to deal with it if we find ourselves stuck with it.

We’re using a bit of a slang term with “super-gonorrhoea” – it’s not a different species of infection in its own right, but rather a strain of your average, everyday gonorrhoea that’s developed a resistance to antibiotics. This means that it is much trickier to get rid of. Normal gonorrhoea is relatively easy to oust – a short course of antibiotics or a quick jab in the bum usually does the trick. But with super-gonorrhoea, more intensive treatments are required, like medical drips, and much stronger drugs over a longer period of time.

In January, Public Health England issued a warning over the first two cases of it being contracted in the UK. Both cases were straight women, but with gonorrhoea cases high among gay men, it makes logical sense that we’d also be vulnerable to super-gonorrhoea.

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Over the past year, gonorrhoea diagnoses in England have risen by 22%. There could be a number of explanations for this – use of condoms has dropped dramatically, especially among young people and gay men. There is also an egregious lack of proper sex education in UK schools, contributing to a rise in STIs and pregnancies among teenagers.

Basically, what we need to do regarding super-gonorrhoea, is put a stop to it before it gets anymore powerful. It’s curable for now, but if it’s allowed to develop more, that may not be the case for much longer.

Unlike HIV, which is actually very difficult to transmit, gonorrhoea can be passed on really easily, through oral or anal sex. But we’re not trying to make you scared of sex. With the advent of PrEP, gay men are just starting to get to the stage where they can have sex free of worry, and that’s GREAT. We wouldn’t want to take that away from anyone. We’re just making sure you know the facts.

Obviously we’re still all going to wank each other off. And let’s be honest, very few people use – or are going to use – condoms for blowjobs and handjobs. But the thing to take away from this, is it’s worth getting tested for gonorrhoea even if you haven’t done anal. As long as it’s caught early, it’s fine!

As all sexual health experts and clinics say – get tested regularly, know your facts, and try not to mentally brush things under the carpet. 

Speaking of facts, here are some that might be useful.

THE FACTS

What is gonorrhoea?
It’s a bacterial infection that can affect your urethra (the tube in your dick), bum, throat or eyes.

What are the symptoms?

DICK: White or green discharge and an intense burning pain when you pee or cum.

BUM: Literally a pain in the arse. Intense throbbing pain inside the anus, especially when you poo or have sex. Bloody discharge.

MOUTH: Sore throat and swollen glands.

What do I do if I have a drug-resistant strain?
Don’t panic! People deal with all sorts of health problems every day. And try not to worry or be embarrassed that it’s sexually transmitted – STIs are just a fact of life, and medical professionals know that. They’ve seen it all!

What’s the best course of action?
Head straight to the clinic. Some great and convenient clinics in London are 56 Dean Street, Mortimer Market Centre and Homerton Sexual Health Centre. Most strains of gonorrhoea can be sorted out fairly quickly, with a short course of antibiotics, or an injection in the bum which gets rid of it almost instantly. But you should still wait a couple of weeks before having sex again. You should also inform all your recent sexual partners. It’s an awkward conversation but it’ll help stop the virus spreading, and they’ll probably appreciate you telling them.

How do I prevent it?
Using condoms and communicating effectively with your sexual partners is the best way of cutting down the risk of getting gonorrhoea.

 

For more info and advice you can trust on gonorrhoea and super-gonorrhoea, head to gmfa.org.uk/gonorrhoea or nhs.uk/conditions/gonorrhoea

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