Gonorrhoea alert

Resistant gonorrhoea strain in Australia

  • Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is a growing problem around the world.
  • The best way to prevent gonorrhoea is to practise safe sex and use a condom or dam during oral, vaginal, or anal sex, even if you and/or your partner don’t have symptoms.
  • Untreated gonorrhoea can have serious complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in men and women.
  • If you have had unprotected sex, get tested even if you have no symptoms.
  • If you have symptoms, visit your GP or sexual health clinic as soon as possible.

Two cases of highly antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea have recently been detected in Australia. One case was acquired in South East Asia and the source of the other case is under investigation.

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can be transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex; that is, any type of sex where a condom or dam is not worn. It can infect your genitals, rectum and throat. Gonorrhoea often causes no symptoms.

Usually gonorrhoea can be treated quite simply with antibiotics. However, anti-biotic resistance gonorrhoea can be difficult to treat, which can increase the risk of passing the infection onto other sexual partners if it remains untreated.

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is a growing problem around the world, and gonorrhoea cases have been increasing in number in Australia over the last few years.

It is important to protect yourself from getting or passing on gonorrhoea by using a condom or dam, especially if you are having sex with new or multiple partners. Travellers are advised to always use condoms when having any kind of sex overseas with new partners.

Common symptoms of gonorrhoea include unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, although gonorrhoea may have no symptoms at all.

If you have had unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex or have symptoms it is recommended that you see your GP or attend a sexual health clinic as soon as possible to get an STI test.

Learn more about multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea (external site)