Time Is Running Out For Treating Gonorrhea

“L.A. had a thriving a gay scene where he could embrace his sexuality freely … There was lots of sex to be had.”

All drugs ever used to treat gonorrhea are now failing

(Sophie Cousins, Mosaic) The first time Mark King had gonorrhea, he was a teenager in the late 1970s, growing up in Louisiana.

King visited a clinic and gave a fake name and phone number. He was treated quickly with antibiotics and sent on his way.

A few years later, the symptoms reappeared. By this time, the 22-year-old was living in West Hollywood, hoping to launch his acting career.

Los Angeles had a thriving a gay scene where King, for the first time, could embrace his sexuality freely.

He frequented bathhouses and also met men in dance clubs and along the bustling sidewalks. There was lots of sex to be had.

Like a few years earlier, the doctor gave him a handful of antibiotics to take for a few days that would clear up the infection. It wasn’t a big deal. In fact, as King describes it, it was “simply an errand to run.”

But it was the calm before the storm, in more ways than one.

When King picked up gonorrhea again in the 1990s, he was greatly relieved that treatment was now just one dose.

Penicillin was no longer effective, but ciprofloxacin was now the recommended treatment and it required only one dose. But this was actually a symptom of treatment regimens starting to fail.

The bacteria was on the way to developing resistance to nearly every drug ever used to treat it.

A global threat

When Alexander Fleming received the 1945 Nobel Prize for discovering penicillin, he finished his lecture with a warning: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and, by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug, make them resistant.”

In other words, we have known about bacteria’s ability to evolve resistance to drugs since the dawn of the antibiotic era … Read the full story at Mosaic

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