AHF: World Health Organization Says Drug Resistant Gonorrhea is on the Rise

UN Agency reiterates condoms are one of the most effective methods of
protection against STIs

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AHF–Common sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea, syphilis, and
chlamydia, are becoming more difficult to treat due to antibiotic
resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced
on Tuesday. In releasing new guidelines for treating these bacterial
sexually transmitted infections (STIs), WHO expressed
concerns
that “resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics
has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options.
Of the 3 STIs, gonorrhea has developed the strongest resistance to
antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhea that do not
respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected.
Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common,
also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.”

While WHO treatment guidelines for these infections have not changed
since 2003, in its statement yesterday WHO named “misuse and overuse” of
antibiotics as a cause for the rise of drug resistant strains. In the
newly released guidelines, WHO does not recommend quinolones (a class of
antibiotic) for the treatment of gonorrhea due to widespread high levels
of resistance. The new WHO guidelines also strongly recommend a single
dose of benzathine penicillin to cure syphilis and continue to recommend
doxycycline and azithromycin as the best choices to treat chlamydia.

“The continued global concern around the rise of drug resistant sexually
transmitted diseases underscores the importance of using condoms, which
are still one of the most effective methods of protection,” said AHF
President Michael Weinstein.

Last December, Britain’s top doctor and pharmaceutical officer issued
warnings
about an antibiotic resistant “super-gonorrhea” that had
been identified in the country and urged medical providers to
consistently prescribe both antibiotics—injectable ceftriaxone and
azithromycin—used to properly treat the sexually transmitted infection. According
to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gonorrhea
is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the United
States, with 350,062 gonorrhea cases being reported in 2014. In March
2015, the White House released its National
Action Plan
to “Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” (CARB)
and through federal funding for CARB in fiscal year 2016, the CDC’s
Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) says it is supporting a number of new
and continuing activities that aim to slow the development of
antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea and prevent its spread.

AHF’s Wellness Centers provide free testing for sexually transmitted
diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. To find the
nearest location for STD screening and treatment, visit www.freestdcheck.org.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
600,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director,
Communications
+1.323.308.1833 work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson,
Associate Director of Communications
+1.323.960.4846
work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org