Health officials are concerned about a not-so-known sexually transmitted superbug called Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), as it’s rapidly becoming antibiotic-resistant.
However, a simple test may reveal some very effective treatment options.
According to experts, the disease could lead to premature birth and infertility women. According to Professor Suzanne Garland of Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, people who have MG tend not to have any symptoms. Men who have MG may experience pain while urinating. Women with the condition may have pain while peeing or having sex.
Garland said men and women who are sexually active with multiple partners are at risk. Heterosexual and same-sex couples are both at risk for the disease.
Garland said 50 percent of people who have antibiotic-resistant MG don’t have a lot of treatment options.
Doctors now have a test they can use to determine if a person has been infected and the treatments that could work.
Sex health officials said there’s no way to determine how common a disease MG is. Garland said up to 35 percent of the people tested in clinics are diagnosed with the disease. Health experts agree that MG should be noted as being a “notifiable disease,” meaning laboratories must report the condition to both territory and state health departments.
Chris Williams, 38, said he had never heard of MG until he was made aware of it from an ex-partner. Williams is gay and consistently gets tested for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. He said until he requested the MG test, he wasn’t offered it. Williams learned he had the type of MG that was resistant to antibiotics.
He took one antibiotic one week to weaken it and was then given a stronger dose to treat it.
Williams said a second test showed he no longer had MG.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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