Homosexuality and Gonorrhea

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Concerning homosexuality and gonorrhea, in 2006, the American Association of Family Physicians reported: "Men who have sex with men (MSM) have high rates of gonococcal infection. In San Francisco, more than one half of these infections occur in MSM, and previous cross-sectional studies have reported a prevalence of up to 15.3 percent in this group."[1]

In 2017, the abstract for the medical journal article Frequent Transmission of Gonorrhea in Men Who Have Sex with Men published in the medical journal Emerging Infectious Diseases indicated:

The rate of gonorrhea is much higher in men who have sex with men than in heterosexuals. Because of unique behavioral characteristics, asymptomatic sites of infection, mainly the pharynx, are principal drivers of gonorrhea prevalence in men who have sex with men. On the basis of this observation, we call for interventions.

The rates of sexually transmitted infections are rising rapidly in men who have sex with men (MSM). Gonorrhea is of particular concern because rising rates will increase the probability of antimicrobial drug resistance. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended reducing the prevalence of gonorrhea as a key strategy to mitigate against antimicriobial resistance. However, reducing prevalence requires understanding why gonorrhea is so common in MSM. We suggest that specific sexual practices of MSM result in them having a high prevalence of asymptomatic infection in particular anatomic sites and that these infections are the primary drivers of transmission.[2]

A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1991 found that:

Among the males [...] gonorrhea was associated with urethral discharge (positivity rate 24.3 time higher than the rate among those without discharge) and homosexuality (3.7 times higher than the rate among heterosexuals).[3]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report regarding homosexual men, which stated that "male rectal gonorrhea is increasing among MSM [men who have sex with men] amidst an overall decline in nationwide gonorrhea rates."[4]

The CDC also made the following report:

"CDC conducted sentinel surveillance in 28 cities and found the proportion of cases resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics (a first-line treatment for gonorrhea) increased from 4.1 percent in 2003 to 6.8 percent in 2004. Resistance is especially worrisome in men who have sex with men, where it was eight times higher than among heterosexuals (23.8 percent vs. 2.9 percent). In April 2004, CDC recommended that fluoroquinolones no longer be used as treatment for gonorrhea among men who have sex with men. These antibiotics were also not recommended to treat the disease in anyone in California or Hawaii, where resistance has been widespread for years. Outside of these states, the prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance among heterosexuals remains low at 1.3 percent."[5]

See also


  1. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20070615/tips/4.html
  2. Frequent Transmission of Gonorrhea in Men Who Have Sex with Men, Christopher K. Fairley,corresponding author Jane S. Hocking, Lei Zhang, and Eric P.F. Chow, Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Jan; 23(1): 102–104. doi: 10.3201/eid2301.161205
  3. Vincelette J, Baril JG, & Allard R (1991). Predictors of chlamydial infection and gonorrhea among patients seen by private practitioners. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 144, 713-721. link
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999). Increases in unsafe sex and rectal gonorrhea among men who have sex with men -- San Francisco, California, 1994-1997. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 48, 45-48. link
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007). Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2006, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, Atlanta, GA.