You’ve probably heard of MRSA, which is pronounced “mersa” and stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — a strain of bacteria that has acquired resistance to methicillin, as well as pretty much every other antibiotic to boot. MRSA is an example of evolution by natural selection — what didn’t kill its ancestors made them stronger, spawning a drug-resistant strain.
Why are we talking about MRSA in a post about STIs? It’s not just because MRSA has apparently found a way to be transmitted sexually, but also because it helps make the concept of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea more accessible. It wasn’t until less than a century ago that we finally developed a magic-bullet treatment for gonorrhea, and for a handful of decades it was quickly and easily treated with a dose of penicillin. Enter evolution by natural selection.
I’d like to point out that just because cold sores = herpes, doesn’t mean that you should ostracize or avoid people with cold sores. People who have STDs/STIs can still live full healthy sex lives, they just have to be more careful. Use protection during any kind of sex, and don’t have sex when you have a breakout. If you contract oral herpes that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just mildly annoying sometimes and if you have a higher immune system or take care of yourself you won’t have as many break outs. Just use protection when you are performing oral sex on someone and let them know that there is a chance that they could get herpes. Never touch a cold sore and touch something or someone else. You can transfer herpes to other parts of your body as well, so never touch a sore without washing your hands afterwards. Also, if you get herpes genitally it’s not a big deal. I have herpes genitally, and I got it from someone with a cold sore going down on me. In the almost a year that I’ve had it I’ve only had two breakouts. The first one is always the worst and the second only lasted a couple of days.
Having an STD/STI does not mean you have to be celibate, it just means you have to be more careful.
Cold sores ARE oral herpes. Most commonly, whenever someone is a child they can get herpes from a family member who gets cold sores kissing them. A LOT of people don’t know that cold sores/fever blisters are herpes and can be spread to the genitals. I’ll see posts on tumblr where people will say things like “got another cold sore, don’t worry it’s not herpes!” or “don’t worry guys cold sores aren’t THAT kind of herpes!” and all I can imagine is how awful it’s going to be when they give their partner genital herpes because they didn’t know that cold sores are herpes. That’s why using protection during oral sex is so important and the fact that many people don’t use protection during oral sex is so devastating!
make sure it is a cold sore, they are commonly confused with canker sores, which are not herpes.
Now that we’ve talked about symptoms and transmission, it’s good to know what happens in diagnosis and treatment for gonorrhea.
Diagnosis and Treatment
—A doctor or nurse can obtain a sample for testing from the parts of the body likely to be infected (cervix, urethra, rectum, or throat), and in some cases can use urine to test.
—Antibiotics can successfully cure gonorrhea in adolescents and adults.
—However, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing in many areas of the world, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult.
—It is now recommened that two kinds of drugs be used to treatment gonorrhea.
—It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure gonorrhea. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease.
—Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea.
—Any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex and to see a doctor.
Sometimes, when people contract bacterial STIs like gonorrhea, they aren’t as concerned as they may have been if they had contracted a viral STI, like herpes, HPV, or HIV. Antibiotics can take of those bacterial infections, right? That’s definitely true - but you have to catch it first, which is why protected sex and regular testing are so important. In that regard, we wanted to address some associated risks of gonorrhea as an untreated STI:
—Untreated gonorrhea can cause some permanent health problems in both women and men.
—In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease.
—In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles. This can unfortunately lead to infertility if men if left untreated.
—Gonorrhea that goes untreated can actually spread to the blood or joints.
—People with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, they can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhea.
—If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she may give the infection to her baby as the baby passes through the birth canal during delivery. This can cause problems for the newborn, such as blindness, joint infection, or a blood infection - this is why pre-natal health care is SO IMPORTANT. Getting screened for all kinds of infections that could impact the health of your newborn and getting treated for them is essential.
Happy Friday ONE condom enthusiasts! Today we’re here to cover safe sex, sex education, relationship advice, and condoms in the news. Our goal is to keep you up to date on anything sex related this past week. Be sure to check out the articles on the fantastic groundbreaking law requiring condom use in porn!
Do you have any links that weren’t included here that you could share with us from the past week?