New infections increase danger of untreatable gonorrhea
Gay men, young heterosexual adults groups at highest risk
Cases of gonorrhea, the second most common sexually transmitted disease
have seen a dramatic uptick with an increase of 25 percent in the United
Kingdom. Such a surge in cases has many worried that this will
ultimately lead to strains of gonorrhea that are not treatable by
current drug therapies.
Though often asymptomatic, the symptoms of gonorrhea to watch out for among women include pain or a burning sensation while passing urine or even projectile urine.
There were 20,965 new cases of gonorrhea diagnosed in England in 2011, up from 16,835 in the previous year. Overall, diagnoses of STIs were up by two percent in the
Some analysts think that the dramatic increase in gonorrhea cases was partly attributed to more sensitive testing. The Health Protection Agency says that too many people are needlessly putting themselves at risk, with gay men and young heterosexual adults were the groups causing the greatest concern.
Instances of gonorrhea were up by 61 percent among men who have sex with men and young heterosexual adults. The highest demographic is among people between 15 to 24-years-old, which represents 57 percent if all new gonorrhea diagnoses.
"We anticipated some increase in diagnoses due to improvements in testing in recent years, but not on the scale seen here," Dr. Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance says. "Too many people are putting themselves at risk of STIs and serious health problems by having unsafe sex."
Hughes says that in the past five years, laboratory testing of the gonorrhea bacterium had shown greatly increased resistance to the main drugs used to treat the infection.
Gonorrhea can have serious effects if left untreated. Young women with gonorrhea can develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause chronic abdominal pain and lead to infertility.
New diagnoses of syphilis were up by 10 percent to 2,915 and herpes was up five percent to 31,154. Although the number of new cases of Chlamydia was down by two percent to 186,196, Dr. Hughes said this was most likely a reflection of fewer young people getting tested.
Sexual health campaigners claim that health official have "taken their foot of the pedal" on informing and warning the public about the dangers of STIs and said that the upcoming transfer of responsibility for public health to cash-strapped local authorities risked worsening the problem.
"These figures are a salutary lesson," Lisa Power, policy director of the Terrence Higgins Trust says. "Sexual health services have had a much lower profile in recent years and it's demonstrable what happens when you let up on informing the public about the risks. We've been working hard with local authorities and our experience is that the services on offer will incredibly variable. There will be a postcode lottery for sexual health unless services are improved across the board."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Gonorhhea, drug-resistant, gay men, young people
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