Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is the number 1 reported sexually transmitted disease in gay and bi men in King County. It outstrips Chlamydia and Syphilis rates by 2 times. It is easy to get, and is usually accompanied by infection with Chlamydia or some other STD.

What is it?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can occur in your mouth, throat, urethra, anus and/or vagina. The clearest sign that you have Gonorrhea is that greenish discharge mentioned above. If that comes dripping out of your cock, you know you’ve got a problem. A doc or clinician can diagnose your Gonorrhea by doing a lab culture of your discharge, or doing a swab of you urethra. I know it sounds painful, but it’s better to suck I up and get it taken care of than to let it go. Once your Gonorrhea is diagnosed, you can get it treated and cured and get rid of it. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Gonorrhea is really easy to spread. Condoms are the best way to prevent infection, but most people don’t use condoms during oral sex, and since Gonorrhea can live in your mouth or the back of your throat, a guy can give it to you while he’s slobbin’ your knob… or vice versa.

How do you get it?
Through oral, anal or penile contact with an infected person, whether that’s through unprotected oral or anal sex, or through other modes of contact. Since the bacteria are present in fluids other than semen, you don’t need to get come in your mouth or ass to get infected. For example, if someone has Gonorrhea of the throat and gives you head, your urethra can easily pick it up. if you’re doing the sucking, you can also get it from pre-cum.

How do you avoid it?
Using condoms for anal and oral sex with an infected person is the best way to keep from getting Gonorrhea. Urinating after sex may help flush out bacteria from the urethra, although there is not much hard evidence to support this idea.

Symptoms?
Oral Gonorrhea doesn’t have any real obvious symptoms; it just feels like any old sore throat. But it can also infect your ass, which results in anal discharge and/or bloody bowel movements. Sexy! But just because you have a sore throat or bloody as discharge, it doesn’t mean you’ve got Gonorrhea. Because its symptoms often resemble those of other common sicknesses, Gonorrhea is nicknamed the “Great Imitator.” That’s why it is important to tell your doc or clinician if you’ve had oral or anal sex recently, otherwise they might not think to check you for Gonorrhea infection.

If you have symptoms, they often show up 2-10 days after being exposed. They include:

  • A creamy or yellow discharge from your penis, if you have it there (urethritis)
  • Itching or burning in the opening of your penis when you come or urinate
  • A sore throat, if you have it in the throat (pharyngitis), but this form is usually asymptomatic
  • A discharge and an itch when you shit, or possibly blood and/or mucus in your stool, burning rectal pain, pain during bowel movements, and a false alarm urge to shit, if you have it in the ass (proctitis)

Even if the symptoms clear up, the infection may still be there.

Testing and treatment
There are new tests that can detect Gonorrhea through a urine sample, but it has to be sent to a lab. Some health care providers swab a small amount of fluid from your penis or ass and look at it under a microscope. Even if you have no symptoms, testing for Gonorrhea in the throat should be routine, and testing for rectal Gonorrhea should be a part of all evaluations of men who have had receptive anal sex in the last year. Asymptomatic men can easily spread the infection through both anal and oral sex without condoms.

The best thing to do if you think you have Gonorrhea is to get it all diagnosed and treated right away. Don’t be shy. Sure it’s embarrassing to get an STD, but with Gonorrhea you’re in good company. There are over 1 million reported cases each year, and those are just the ones we know about. Experts think that this number should actually be doubled to reflect those who don’t realize they are infected.

Gonorrhea’s partner in crime is Chlamydia, or non-Gonococcal urethritis (NGU). As the name suggests, Chlamydia is a bacterial inflammation in the urethra that is not caused by Gonorrhea infection. It can be caused by other bacteria, but most frequently is Chlamydia trachomatis. The symptoms are similar to Gonorrhea in that there is a penile discharge, often accompanied by a burning during urination. Although not as common as Gonorrhea, 75% of the time where there is one there is the other, which is why you should get tested for both at the same time.

There is a drug resistant from of Gonorrhea in Seattle and other west coast cities, so be sure to ask your docs if they are up-to-date on all of the latest treatment procedures. It is very important to a) finish all of the meds even if the symptoms go away, b) inform your most recent sexual partners. If you have a partner who has not been treated and you have sex again, you get it again and can pass it back and forth. By informing your recent sexual partners so that they can be treated can make a dramatic difference in the number of STDs that are passed due to lack of knowledge. This is because some STDs are asymptomatic, meaning that there could be no noticeable symptoms.

HIV connection?

  • If you’re HIV positive, check with your health care provider about whether the antibiotics prescribed are right for you
  • Because Gonorrhea causes your urethra to become inflamed, if you are HIV positive it can increase the amount of HIV in your semen, and thereby increase the risk that you may transmit HIV to partners. If you’re HIV negative, it may increase your risk of getting HIV from an infected partner

What else should you know?
Left untreated, Gonorrhea’s symptoms will clear up over the course of several weeks but the infection persists. It can then lead to a serious infection in your balls (epididymitis) or a narrowing of the urethra (stricture). Untreated Gonorrhea in your throat or ass can develop into ulcers. These increase your risk of getting or passing on HIV if you fuck or have oral sex with a condom. It can also harm your reproductive system, making it impossible to have children.

So, if it hurts to pee and there’s something green oozing out of your cock, it’s time to get down to the clinic. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you’ll be back in action and the less likely you’ll be to pass any yucky diseases on to anyone else.

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