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Untreatable Gonorrhea a Global Threat

Sex Bug Becoming Resistant to Last Known Treatment, WHO Warns

Gonorrhea Resistance Action Plan

The WHO today released its "global action plan" for controlling the spread of drug-resistant gonorrhea. The plan, to which the CDC contributed, calls for:

  • Correct use of antibiotics, particularly in "key populations, including men who have sex with men and sex workers."
  • Preventing gonorrhea infections, diagnosing them quickly, and treating them appropriately.
  • Keeping close track of treatment failures.
  • Effective drug regulations and prescription policies for antibiotics.
  • Strengthening surveillance for drug-resistant gonorrhea.
  • Building regional networks of laboratories that can culture gonorrhea and measure drug resistance.
  • Research into new ways to detect and monitor drug-resistant gonorrhea.
  • Research into new treatments for gonorrhea.

That last part of the plan -- finding new treatments -- is not far along. The U.S. NIH has only one clinical trial under way. And that trial isn't looking at a new drug. It's only trying to find new combinations of existing drugs that might buy more time against the day gonorrhea becomes untreatable.

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