When "The Clap" Claps Back: About That Untreatable Gonorrhea
"She got gonorrhea," my dining mates hissed. "Of the THROAT."
My naive self just had to ask how precisely did someone get a sexually transmitted infection in their throat.
1. Did you figure out how she got gonorrhea of the throat? Trust me, if you did, you arrived at the correct answer a thousand times faster than me.
Even though back then I was a little slow about how she'd gotten it, I was reassured that she was able to go to the health center to cure it. But what if it suddenly becomes incurable? Although not everyone immediately experiences painful symptoms, when you do get them, they're no joke. Left untreated, it can spread to the blood or joints and you can die.
So, imagine my horror when I saw a story online today about how untreatable forms of gonorrhea are popping up. The infection adapts to the antibiotics used to treat it, and according to the World Health Organization, in a couple of years it's going to be untreatable. Not that I'm planning on doing anything to expose myself to gonorrhea, but in general, incurable infectious diseases freak me out--a potentially untreatable MRSA scares me too.
What worries me is that the majority of new gonorrhea cases every year are teens and young adults--people with their whole lives ahead of them. But at that age, they don't think getting an incurable disease is going to happen to them. They're having unprotected sex, but despite all the YOLO floating around the web these days, the risk they're taking is so not worth it.
Can you imagine how horrible it would be to contract untreatable gonorrhea as a teenager or young adult, and have your whole life forever changed by the disease? Sure, that young woman I went to college with was embarrassed by being seen going into the health service--and by folks knowing WHY she was going--but at least she was able to move on. If things stay on the trajectory they're on now, today's young people won't be able to say the same.