Don't Let the Gonorrhea Scare Freak You Out

Maressa Brown
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gonorrheaComedian Russell Brand may have sung a hilarious song about it in Get Him to the Greek called "The Clap," and we tend to think of this old-school sexually-transmitted disease as something maybe our great-grandparents' generation had to worry about. Or pirates passed around! And that's funny for about two seconds -- until you hear the latest news about gonorrhea. Turns out, there really isn't much to laugh about.

Caused by a bacterium, the STD -- which is surprisingly the second most infectious disease in the U.S. -- is usually treated with antibiotics. But now an untreatable strain of the disease has been discovered in Japan. This news comes on the tail of news from three days ago in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that U.S. gonorrhea samples had been showing signs of drug resistance as well. Eeeep!

Honestly, I think most of us probably shrug gonorrhea or most STDs off as something that could never happen to us personally. We think, "Pffft, it's mostly teens we should be worried about."

And while it's true that the largest number of reported cases most recently was among girls aged 15 to 19 years old, that doesn't mean sexually active women of all ages aren't susceptible. We are -- and so are our children. The disease can be passed onto an infant during childbirth.

Plus, haven't you heard -- Boomers are contracting STDs at an alarming rate, because they get out of a divorce or become widowed, and think they can go back to practicing sex the same way they did in high school in 1969. Nooo!! Stop, Grandma! Put a rubber on it! (I know, you're cringing, but she deserves some booty, too, right?) Actually, the problem lies in the fact that they never got real, decent, modern, comprehensive sex education.

Unfortunately, not that many of us in this country ever did. Although, I do recall being at a leadership camp in high school when they showed us some awful film that actually had CLOSE-UP SHOTS of STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Gaaaahhh! Scarred. For. Life.

But, you know, I have a feeling scare tactics ("Ahhh! It's a superbug!") won't be enough to make people take responsibility for their sexual health and well-being. We actually have to realize we're not as invincible as we think we are. And that we as women must feel more comfortable educating ourselves and calling the shots when it comes to practicing safe sex.

What are your thoughts on the gonorrhea "superbug"? Do you think of yourself as invincible when it comes to STDs?


Image via Eric E Castro/Flickr

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