‘Pack those condoms’: Sex health docs warn rare STI could become ‘superbug’

‘Pack those condoms’: Sex health docs warn rare STI could become ‘superbug’

What makes it even worse is that doctors have warned the new infection could become a superbug - like MRSA- if it isn't treated properly.

For women, it can cause pain or bleeding during sex, burning sensation when urinating. For men it causes inflammation of the urethra and could lead to watery discharges from the penis.

The news comes after health officials past year warned that millions of young people are shunning protection because risky sex has become acceptable once again, three decades after the Aids epidemic made condom use essential.

Research by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) found that over 70 percent of sexual health experts said that if current practices do not change, MG will become resistant to first and second line antibiotics within a decade.

It was first identified in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and is thought to affect 1-2% of the general population.

Eradication rates of MG following treatment with one family of antibiotics, called macrolides, are decreasing globally.

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This common mistake has meant the bug has been quietly getting stronger and more prevalent - and because it has been treated with the wrong drugs is now very resistant to any antibiotic.

Paddy Horner, spokesman for the BASHH, said: "We can't afford to continue with the approach we have followed for the past 15 years as this will undoubtedly lead to a public health emergency with the emergence of MG as a superbug".

Dr Peter Greenhouse, a sexual consultant in Bristol and BASHH member, told the BBC, "it's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

Thousands of women risk infertility because Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is developing resistance to antibiotics, according to sexual health specialists who are urging doctors to test before treatment.

Almost half of 16 to 24-year-olds admit they have had sex with a new partner without using a condom, a Public Health England report said in December.

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