Monday, July 11, 2011

Gonorrhoea - the scourge of the Ages

Oh dear: I have to report some bad news! When the lethal E Coli outbreak occurred recently in Germany, alarm bells began to ring (again) over the possibility of a new, resistant organism sweeping around the world: luckily for those not involved, we have been spared from a potentially awful illness.  But we've also had chicken and swine flu; and in the Eastern States we've now got the spectre of Hendra virus from bats, via horses! However, it's an ancient disease of mankind that is rearing its ugly head again with the news that a strain of Gonorrhoea has appeared that is resistant to all known antibiotics! So for those of a promiscuous bent, be afraid - be very afraid!

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease that has plagued man,  and woman-kind since time immemorial. It presents with a discharge from the vagina in women, and from the penis in men: not surprisingly, men tend to notice the problem more frequently than women, but the consequences for both can progress to infertility. But worse things can happen: skin rashes and infected joints, plus an increased risk of getting HIV - definitely not a good look on your CV for life! But should a pregnant women give birth, whilst infected by Gonorrhoea, there is a real risk that the child - if infected during the descent through the birth canal - will become blind because of the infection.

In 2009 there were over 3,200 cases confirmed here in Australia, 2,622 in men and 596 in women: so this is not an uncommon problem. In the USA it is anticipated that there will be over 700,000 cases reported this year: so the fact that a new, totally drug resistant strain has appeared, completely changes the way people must approach casual sex.

Intimacy is beautiful: sex within an intimate relationship is beautiful too. Casual sex may appear attractive; but the consequences may last longer, and be worse, than you thought.
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