Doctors have begun alerting the public that an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea may in fact have the potential to be as deadly as AIDS.
After AIDS, gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STD in North America.
This evolved strain known as HO41 was discovered in Japan two years ago in a 31-year-old female sex worker. The bacteria has since been found in Hawaii, California, and Norway.
“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” doctor of naturopathic medicine Alan Christianson told CNBC.
“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” he continued. “This is very dangerous.”
In a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition for STD Directors, urged Congress to put aside $54 million in immediate funding to help find an antibiotic for HO41.
More and more U.S. states are currently experiencing huge increases in gonorrhea cases. Utah saw a 74 percent rise in gonorrhea cases in 2012.
According to the latest statistics from the CDC, 31 states, including the District of Columbia, reported an increase in gonorrhea cases.
Cephalosporin the class of antibiotics traditionally used to treat gonorrhea, has been failing worldwide and doctors are seriously afraid that all types of gonorrhea will soon become immune to antibiotics.
Professor Cathy Ison, head of the National Reference Laboratory for Gonorrhea in the U.K told the BBC “There is a possibility that if we don’t do something then it could become untreatable by 2015.”
Left untreated, gonorrhea can result in blood stream infections, pelvic inflammatory diseases, infertility and a permanent weakening of the immune system which prevents it from fighting off any harmful infection or disease.
Please use a condom, people.