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Super Gonorrhoea and the Herpes Apocalypse

By Steve Korver Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 15:22
Most humans have herpes… ‘Super gonorrhoea’ on the loose… Zombies refuse to eat the untested… These news sores and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

Super gonorrhoea gonna get you!

The phrase ‘Super Gonorrhoea’ has been regularly popping out of the headlines the last couple of years (and often accompanied with phrases such as “Clap burning through Northern England” and “Will the Drip drip over into your social circle?”.).

According to the more gently titled ‘Sorry, folks: Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is getting worse’, strains of this sexually transmitted disease (STD) are becoming resistant to our current line-up of antibiotics. So doctors are scurrying to come up with new antibiotics to “treat our ever-mutating microbial foes”.

So that’s sobering.

Herpes: everybody’s got it

“A new report by the World Health Organisation estimates that two out of three adults under the age of 50 had herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) in 2012. That’s 3.7 billion people worldwide who are infected,” according to ‘Almost everyone has herpes, but how worried should we be?’.

Previously it was thought that HVS-1 caused the infections above the waist – for example, in the form of cold sores on the lips – and HVS-2 caused the more awkward infections below the waist. But now we know they are both happy to spread in either region. Neither can be cured.

But unless you’re HIV-positive, pregnant or a newborn, herpes is generally a fairly ho-hum STD. So no worries: a Herpes Apocalypse is not on the horizon.

(That is, until Super Herpes comes along.)

The new STD on the block

Mycoplasma genitalium may be more widespread than previously thought,” according to ‘Everything you need to know about that so-called “new” STD’.

It may even be more widespread than gonorrhoea – because in most cases it remains symptomless. However, the bacteria can cause inflammation of the urethra in some men. And currently, research is being done into its side effects on women.

Since it was only discovered in the last couple of decades, authorities are still trying to figure out if it’s worth being routinely screened for.

Opening up new markets in sexual transmission

STDs are a big deal – and therefore a potential business deal.

If you’re looking to tap into the STD market, pick up a copy of 2016 Emerging Opportunities in the Global Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (STD) Diagnostic Testing Market.

“This new 350-page report contains 90 tables and provides analysis of the global sexually-transmitted disease testing market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, sales forecasts by country, market shares, and strategic profiles of leading suppliers.”

There’s money to be made, folks!

STDs everywhere

New STD dating app Hinder – swipe right for guaranteed infection’ did make it into Google News, but unfortunately it’s only satire. The article is inspired by how some government and health organisations are blaming the rise of online dating on a perceived (but not yet proven) rise in the spread of STDs.

And sadly, ‘Even zombies find sexually transmitted diseases horrifying, particularly in Omaha’ is only partially true. It’s a reference to a hilarious public health commercial with a zombie who decides against having a woman as a late night snack because she hasn’t been tested. “It’s not that hard you know. So think about it. It’s a dangerous world out there,” he says before lurching off in search of certfiied clean meat.

But some headlines are both horrifying and true: ‘Sexual transmission of Ebola virus in Liberia confirmed’.

Then there’s: ‘More elderly women in S. Korea catching sexually transmitted diseases’. The story actually reflects a global trend among senior citizens (which is likely related to the fact that seven Viagra pills are sold every second worldwide).

In conclusion, STDs are everywhere. But it's nothing to be too paranoid about.

Just be sure to slap a male condom on every single one of your penises, and/or a female condom on every single one of your vaginas.

Feeling paranoid? Do you think scare tactics work when it comes to fighting the spread of STDs? Share your infectious thoughts. Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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