Emerging sexually transmitted infections that you need to know about

You may already be well aware of common STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, but there are also four new STIs that it’s important to be educated about.

Image Credit

Neisseria meningitis

This bacterial infection can lead to invasive meningitis which is potentially deadly – but more commonly it can lead to urogenital infections. Around 10 percent of adults actually carry the bacteria in the back of their throat, but it can be transmitted through sexual contact. The first outbreak has been identified among gay and bisexual men, and research suggests that it is spread through oral sex. Happily, although five types of the STI have been identified, there are already two vaccines that offer a degree of protection.

M. genitalium

This is one of the smallest bacterial STIs and it is already gaining a reputation as being of particular concern. First spotted in the eighties, it is now carried by up to 2 percent of people, and common among younger adults and teenagers. Although it tends to have no symptoms, it can lead to a stinging sensation when peeing and lead to PID in females, leading to pregnancy disorders. Only condoms can prevent transmission, but the real worry is that the STI is already showing resistance to antibiotics.

Image Credit

Shigella flexneri

Shigellosis is passed on via human faeces. It leads to significant bouts of diarrhoea which then further spread the bacteria. There have already been multiple outbreaks across the world and it is already becoming antibiotic resistant. Find out more at: www.checkurself.org.uk/plus and remember you can easily get an STI test London wide if you have any concerns – http://www.iwannaknow.org/teens/sti/testing.html.

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

This STI has evolved from chlamydia and it can cause a nasty infection that begins as a temporary ulcer or blister, which then leads to an invasion of the lymphatic system. Again, there have been a number of outbreaks which require a three-week course of antibiotics. Left untreated, it can lead to severe and chronic issues with the rectum and colon.

Planning ahead to avoid STIs

Although these STIs are unusual, it’s a good reminder to always take care of your sexual health. Always use a condom with a new partner, get tested if you have any symptoms and consider an annual screening as part of your general health and wellbeing.