Every time I get a sore throat a week after performing DATY, I immediately stop all sexual activity and get tested with a throat culture. While pharyngeal gonorrhea is rare among heterosexual males, it can occur especially if the female is infected. The fact is that SPs that perform s should be testing themselves very often - no excuses. This is the part of the hobby that I take very seriously and while assume all SPs take their health seriously, I do not take anyone`s word about testing negative. If you have multiple sex partners, you need to be tested, end of discussion. Have a look at this article below:
Top Stories | 5/11/04
Have a sore throat? UHS may run tests for gonorrhea
STD spread through oral sex, treated with antibiotics
By Jillian Rogers
When several students at the University visited the health center on campus for sore throats, they never expected to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease that could be living in their throats.
``Try explaining that to your parents,`` said Ashley Hoyer, a journalism sophomore whose friend was tested for the disease when she stopped into the University Health Services complaining her throat hurt.
Recently, medical professionals at UHS have been testing patients seen because of sore throats for pharyngeal gonorrhea, gonorrhea of the throat. Several students have been diagnosed with the disease, according to Amy Waggoner, a UHS nurse practitioner.
After performing throat cultures on the students, medical professionals verified that the same bacterium commonly found in the warm moist areas of the reproductive tract, was growing inside some students` throats.
Although this form of the sexually transmitted disease is uncommon, medical professionals at UHS see outbreaks of the disease throughout the year.
``There was a huge surge last May right after finals when students were maybe drinking and celebrating, and they were less inhibited sexually,`` Waggoner said.
The bacterium spreads by transmission of infected bodily fluids such as semen, saliva or blood. The disease can even infect the eye. It is unlikely for the disease to spread through sharing drinks or coughing, said Shannon Rauh, sexual health program coordinator at the student health center. Most often, however, pharyngeal gonorrhea is spread through oral sex.
``More college students are involved in oral sex, because they think there are less risks involved,`` Rauh said. ``You can get any STD engaging in oral sex.``
In fact, Rauh said, surveys show that students are more likely to have oral sex now than ever before, which makes college campuses a breeding ground for pharyngeal gonorrhea.
Some carriers experience uncomfortable symptoms such as a sore throat. Most experience no symptoms at all.
``Ninety-eight percent of people have no symptoms at all, which means that for every one person we see with it, roughly 100 more are out there,`` Waggoner said.
Phyrengeal gonorrhea has no long-term effects and can be treated with antibiotics. The danger associated with the disease, according to both Waggoner and Rauh, lies in sexual partners of the infected students. The partners are likely infected with genital gonorrhea and unaware of it, they said.
If left untreated, genital gonorrhea can lead to infertility, major pelvic infection or scar tissue in the fallopian tubes. The disease can also lead to ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a woman`s fertilized egg gets stopped and stuck in the fallopian tube, often resulting in her death.
The positive result of diagnosing pharyngeal gonorrhea, said Waggoner, is that the health center can attempt to find the person from whom the student contracted the disease and treat him or her for genital gonorrhea.
Finding the students infected with genital gonorrhea is difficult, because most students don`t know about pharyngeal gonorrhea and don`t know to visit the health center for testing. Students who have symptoms often pass them off as a sore throat until they go away, Waggoner said.
``I had no idea this even existed,`` said Michael Conti, an advertising senior, who learned the health center is testing students for the disease. ``You`d think more people would know about this with all the STD hype that goes around.``
Although more cases have been seen at the University, pharyngeal gonorrhea is relatively uncommon outside campus, said Sam Price, a disease intervention specialist. Price works at the Rebecca Baines Johnson Health Center and Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic of Austin, which receives reports of all sexually transmitted disease in the state of Texas. The most common cases of pharyngeal gonorrhea, he said, are found in gay men in their early 20s and 30s.
Although Price reported no trends indicating a surge in the occurrence of the disease on campus, the center has found a higher number of Austin cases in recent years.
Experts agree the surest way to prevent the transmission of pharyngeal gonorrhea is to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term monogamous relationship.
Rauh also suggests using a dental dam during oral sex. Dental dams are small latex sheets that provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases during oral sex. Students can get dental dams for free at the Health Promotion Resource Center.
Students who think they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease should be examined, tested and treated as soon as possible, Waggoner said. Medical treatment and information is available from the University Health Center, public health centers or community STD clinics and private physicians.