Gonorrhea

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The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.[1] Approximately 700,000 people in the United States are afflicted with gonorrhea. [2]

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Homosexuality and Gonorrhea

In respect to homosexuality and gonorrhea, Concerned Women of America issued an article entitled Health and Homosexuality. The article stated the following regarding homosexuality and gonorrhea:

In a study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1991, "...gonorrhea was associated with urethral discharge ... and homosexuality (3.7 times higher than the rate among heterosexuals)."[3]

Race and Gonorrhea

In respect to race and gonorrhea, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 1998 that the rate of gonorrhea infection for non-Hispanic blacks was 5.1 times higher than that found in the general U.S. population.[4]

Symptoms

Symptoms of gonorrhea vary, with many individuals having no symptoms at all. When they do appear, symptoms can take from 5 - 30 days to appear. According to the CDC[5], symptoms of gonorrhea can include:

In men:

  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge.
  • Painful or swollen testicles.

In women:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Increased discharge
  • Bleeding between periods

Symptoms of rectal infection in both men and women may include discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding, or painful bowel movements. Rectal infection also may cause no symptoms. Infections in the throat may cause a sore throat but usually causes no symptoms.

Left untreated, gonorrhea infection can result in severe complications including pelvic inflammatory disease in women and inflammation of the epididymis in men. In both sexes, these complications can lead to infertility.

Tests

Testing for gonorrhea is accomplished by obtaining a swab of the infected area (eg. throat) and performing a Gram stain test, which can usually be accomplished in a doctor's office.

Treatment

Antibiotic treatments exist for gonorrhea, but there are many drug resistant strains.

Prevention

The only sure prevention of gonorrhea is abstinence.

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References

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