Is There A Sex Superbug? The Truth About Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea!


Drug resistant gonorrhea (the sex superbug) is indeed scary–but we may not have to worry yet. | Source: ShutterStock

People have been going nuts over a sex superbug that was rumored to be going around. The so-called “sex superbug” referred to a drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea called HO41. Reports said that the gonorrhea strain HO41 was found in Hawaii, which freaked everyone out into thinking it would get to the rest of the U.S. soon and infect a whole bunch of us.

HO41 is resistant to the antibiotic ceftriaxone, which you have to get injected (yikes) and is a last-resort antibiotic (double yikes). However, it turns out that the gonorrhea strain found was actually not the HO41 sex superbug, but actually the strain H11S8, which is resistant to the antibiotic azithromycin (probably the same one your doc will give you for a sinus infection). And docs knew about this one already!

Experts say the last time the sex superbug was detected was back in 2009 in Japan–and it was an isolated case of the resistant gonorrhea. There have been a handful of isolated other cases in other countries, though–and docs are warning us not to get too comfortable with our status, because there’s a real chance that it could come here.

“We think that that could be just a matter of a year or two,” one doc advised.

The problem with drug resistant gonorrhea? It’s smart. Plain old gonorrhea used to be easily treated with regular antibiotics, but the disease soon outsmarted us and mutated, with new strains becoming resistant to old treatments. The best way to stay safe? Monogamous sex between two clean partners–and always, always always use a condom!
Do you think a sex superbug is a real risk in the U.S.? Does the idea of drug-resistant gonorrhea freak you out? Tell us in the comments!

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