‘Newly discovered sexually transmitted disease is more common in black people’

A new sexually transmitted disease called mycoplasma genitalium has been confirmed to exist by scientists in the United Kingdom.

The STD which was first discovered over 20 years ago, is a bacterial disease that causes painful urination among other things.

The scientists, a team of 14 researchers arrived at their confirmation after carrying out a national survey of the sexual lifestyles and attitudes of British men and women.

The research which involved testing urine from 4,507 sexually experienced participants aged 16 to 44 years for MG, “strengthens evidence that MG is an STI”according to the scientists.

“MG was identified in over one per cent of the population, including in men with high-risk behaviours in older age groups that are often not included in STI prevention measures.”

Furthermore, the study revealed that people of black ethnicity were more prone to test positive for MG and also the disease is prevalent in 1.2% on men and 1.3% in women.

The study also showed that for men and women, the disease was strongly associated with reporting risk behaviors such as increasing the number of total and new partners and unsafe sex in the past year.

Although it recorded no positive MG tests in men aged 16 to 19, prevalence climaxed at 2.1 per cent in men aged 25–34 years, while prevalence was highest in 16 to 19-year-olds at 2.4 per cent and decrease with age.

“Men with MG were more likely to report previously diagnosed gonorrhoea, syphilis or non-specific urethritis, and women previous trichomoniasis” the research stated.

Health.com in an article about the study quoted a clinical associate professor, Raquel Dardik, who said the symptoms for women included irritation, painful urination and bleeding after sex, while those for men included painful urination and watery discharge from the penis.

The disease has been linked to both inflammation in the cervix (cervicitis) and pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a serious condition often caused by other STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea according to the article.

Dardik also said that around 10 per cent of women who develop PID (which causes abdominal pain, fever, painful cervix, and pain or bleeding during sex), could blame MG as the underlying cause.

She, however, revealed that people could get tested for MD and that it was treatable with the antibiotic azithromycin, adding that the use of condoms was an effective way of mitigating against it.

Dr. Jorgen Jensen of the Mycoplasma Laboratory, Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, however, single-dose azithromycin treatment was not good enough although it was best for MG treatment.

He also explained in an article published in an issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases that although initial in vitro studies suggested that antibiotics of the tetracycline class were active, clinical experience showed their inefficiency in bringing about both a microbiological or a clinical cure.

He added that from the published observational studies of 120 Australian and 183 Norwegian MG-positive patients, it was discovered that only 84 per cent and 79 per cent, respectively, were cured by a single 1-g dose of azithromycin.

Jensen said: “(A study the study by) Mena et al provides a clear-cut answer to the question of whether multidose doxycycline or single-dose azithromycin is most efficient for the treatment of M. genitalium—positive urethritis; undoubtedly, azithromycin is best. However, it is not good enough, and additional studies of new approaches are definitely needed.”

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