Taking Antibiotics After Unprotected Sex May Reduce STI Risk

Taking Antibiotics After Unprotected Sex May Reduce STI Risk

New research finds that the antibiotic doxycycline reduces the odds of contracting some bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if taken within 72 hours of condomless sex.

The findings, presented earlier this year at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, came from a study of 232 HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Half of the men were given a prescription for the drug and instructed to take two pills (100 mg) within three days any time they had sex without condoms. The remaining men did not receive the antibiotic regimen; however, everyone was given condoms and counseling about safer sex. All participants were tested regularly for STIs for several months afterward.

Read More

Could Antibacterial Mouthwash Help Prevent the Spread of Gonorrhea?

Could Antibacterial Mouthwash Help Prevent the Spread of Gonorrhea?

One sexually transmitted infection (STI) that has public health officials increasingly worried is gonorrhea. Although infection rates have declined dramatically from their peak in the 1970s, research has found that not only is gonorrhea on the rise again, but that this infection has also become more resistant to antibiotic treatments. Essentially, what this means is that we have fewer and fewer drugs available that can successfully clear it from the body. Scientists fear that, eventually, a strain may emerge that we can’t cure. As such, more research into gonorrhea treatment and prevention strategies is urgently needed.

A new set of studies suggests that one tool that could potentially help in the fight against antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is—wait for it—mouthwash. But not just any mouthwash—we’re talking specifically about antibacterial mouthwashes, such as Listerine.

Read More

The Media’s Tales Of A Deadly New “Sex Superbug” Are Greatly Exaggerated

The Internet exploded today with stories about an incredibly dangerous “sex superbug” at our doorstep. Some of the more provocative headlines included “Sex superbug could be ‘worse than AIDS’” (CNBC) and “New sex superbug could be global killer, doctors warn” (The Sun). All of these stories went on to talk about a very aggressive strain of gonorrhea known as HO41 that is resistant to all known antibiotics (and, no, I don’t know whether scientists were trying to be funny when they named this STI “ho-41”). Moreover, the stories talked about how the infection is spread quickly and easily and can lead to death “in a matter of days.” Time for a global panic, right? Hold your horses, because in the rush to report this news quickly, a number of journalists failed to check their facts.
Read More