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Transmission of gonorrhea through kisses?
So far, gonorrhea has been thought to spread through sexual contact. However, the latest results show that the typical statements about the transmission of the disease have to be reconsidered. Researchers found that even passionate kissing can help spread gonorrhea.
When investigating the Monash University in Melbourne, it was found that gonorrhea can also be transmitted via kisses. The results of the study were published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The number of diseases of gonorrhea is increasing
The published data show that the number of gonorrhea diseases (often colloquially known as gonorrhea) has increased by 63 percent in the past five years, especially among heterosexual men and women living in cities. Between 2012 and 2016, the number rose by 72 percent for men and 43 percent for women.
More and more strains of gonorrhea are becoming resistant to antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance and the lack of condom use were largely excluded as the cause of the worrying prevalence of venereal disease, so that medicine was long puzzled. There were growing doubts about known possible ways of transmission. The researchers therefore hypothesized that kissing could also spread because more and more people are practicing oral sex.
Kissing can transmit gonorrhea
Now researchers at Monash University in Melbourne have provided initial evidence that kissing could be an important pathway of transmission and that condoms may not be enough to prevent the spread of the disease. In 2016 and 2017, the researchers collected information from homosexual and bisexual volunteers to assess whether oropharyngeal gonorrhea could be transmitted solely through kisses with tongue or as part of the sexual act.
Data from 4,643 men were evaluated
More than 11,000 participants were asked to answer a short survey about their sexual practices and the data of 4,643 men (40.6%) were then evaluated for the study. Oropharyngeal gonorrhea was diagnosed in just over six percent of the participants. The proportion of men with the disease was lower if they did not kiss during sexual intercourse, the authors of the study explain.
Kissing is a risk factor
The results suggest that kissing with or without sex is a risk factor for oropharyngeal gonorrhea. After considering potentially other influential factors, the likelihood of being tested positive for oropharyngeal gonorrhea was 46 percent higher if the men kissed four or more partners without having sex.
By contrast, the value was increased by 81 percent when the men kissed their partners and had sex with them - each compared to men who were only with one partner from one of the above categories.
The danger should not be underestimated
Although it is only an observational study, the researchers warned that the importance of kissing gonorrhea transmission should not be underestimated and neglected. The results suggest that kissing with or without sex is a risk factor for oropharyngeal gonorrhea. (as)