A recent study has revealed that kissing could be a possible reason behind gonorrhoea – the most antibiotic-resistant of all the sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A recent study has revealed that kissing could be a possible reason behind gonorrhoea – the most antibiotic-resistant of all the sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
This is the findings of a new study published in the journal ‘The Lancet’.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. It used to be known as “the clap”. The bacteria are mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid.
Gonorrhoea is easily passed between people through: unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
The new study indicated that a significant and previously unrecognised route of transmission of the bacterial infection was kissing.
In a report issued on June 6, 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said more than one million people catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or STI, every day across the globe, with chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis of greatest concern.
“On average, approximately one in 25 people globally have at least one of these STIs,” the world body said.
On the current study, Monash University’s Professor Kit Fairley, argued that the global sexual health community “needs to recognise that gonorrhoea is on the rise and that there should be an increased awareness of the risks of kissing as a route of transmission.”
Fairley is Director of the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Professor of Public Health at Monash University.
To this end, he said: “Understanding how it is transmitted is the key to understanding how to control it – if transmission by kissing is a key route of transmission, then, it is important to investigate new methods of control, such as antibacterial mouthwash.”
The study included more than 3,600 men who have sex with men over a 12-month period from March 2016.
By mapping those who only kissed partners, compared to having sex with partners, the researchers were able to determine that the transmission of the disease was high in people who kiss only, and was higher in those who have sex with kissing compared to those who have sex without kissing.