Gay and bisexual men warned about rise of drug-resistant STI

Fri. January 28, 2022 1:31 PM by News Staff

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London, UK - Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are being warned about an “extremely antibiotic-resistant” sexually transmitted infection.  

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a warning after a sudden rise in cases of Shigella, a gut infection that can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, rectal cramps, bloody stool, dehydration, and fever. Some patients need to be hospitalized.

A total of 47 cases were reported in the four-month period between September 2021 and January 2022, compared with just 16 in the previous 17 months.

UKSHA has been following the strain since 2018, but recent cases show it is getting more resistant to antibiotics.

Shigella is spread through contact with feces that contains the bacteria, such as through anal sex, rimming, giving oral sex after anal sex, or via unwashed hands and sex toys.

“Practicing good hygiene after sex is really important to keep you and your partners safe. Avoid oral sex immediately after anal sex, and change condoms between anal or oral sex and wash your hands with soap after sexual contact,” said Dr. Gauri Godbole, Consultant Medical Microbiologist at UKHSA. 

Godbole said it’s important that gay and bisexual men do not dismiss their symptoms and speak to their doctor or sexual health clinic if they are unwell.

You can find out more information about Shigella and get advice on other topics at