“Gonorrhea Alert” Intensifies Globally

In Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

With reports of rising rates of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhea globally, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges governments to prioritize sexually transmitted infections on their public health agendas and promote condom use to prevent STIs versus an over-reliance on antibiotics to treat them post-exposure. Neisseria gonorrhea is exceptionally dangerous due to its resistance to multiple treatments, including new antibiotics being developed specifically for this pathogen.

“We’ve seen a worrisome trend worldwide of increasing STI cases, particularly gonorrhea and syphilis, for some time – a trend that will be extremely difficult to reverse if these harmful yet preventable conditions continue becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatments,” said AHF Senior Global Medical Director Dr. Adele Schwartz Benzaken. “Condoms are still the most cost-effective way to prevent gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STIs, including HIV – a fact people everywhere should be made aware of. That starts with information campaigns at all levels of government in all countries and ensuring adequate access to free or affordable condoms. Those actions and early detection through robust testing programs are pivotal for turning the tide in the response against sexually transmitted infections.”

AHF has long warned of this drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea, prompting it to launch its “Gonorrhea Alert” outdoor advertisement campaign in the U.S. more than five years ago. Over 82 million new cases of Neisseria gonorrhea are reported in adults between the ages of 15 to 49 annually, according to the World Health Organization.

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