According to the World Health Organization, not only are the STDs gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis increasing at an alarming rate — as of November, it’s the first time all three have been at an increase since 2006, with chlamydia cases alone numbering 1.5 million. This is the highest number ever reported — they’re developing resistance to antibiotics to the point of being untreatable.
Gonorrhea, in particular, the second most commonly reported STD behind chlamydia, has become resistant to every medication save for one “last line” treatment option — and its showing signs of resistance there too.
With new drug research and development potentially taking years and chlamydia and syphilis seemingly following suit, this is “concerning,” as the organization puts it mildly. (Read: It’s HORRIFYING).
While they’re not ringing the alarm just quite yet (no treatment failures have yet to be reported in the US), the fact that this new resistance is a growing problem with regard to all three infections in other parts of the world is enough to have the organization issuing new treatment guidelines that urge both prevention and critical promptness in treatment to prevent further spreading. *shudder*
College-aged women (20-24) are at the highest risk, with 15-25 year-olds accounting for half of the 20 million STD infections each year, but it’s definitely a good reminder for all ages to ALWAYS use protection and to regularly get tested for infection!
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(h/t Teen Vogue, photos via Chris Jackson + Getty)