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No one wants to contract an STD but if you had to catch one, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis would be it because they’re at least treatable. Well, they were.

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the number of drug-resistant cases of gonorrhea is on the rise in the US to the point that the sexually transmitted disease may become untreatable. According to the authors, “It is time to sound the alarm.” They wrote:

“During the past 3 years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea and prevent severe sequelae.”

The threat is nothing to laugh at. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported communicable disease in the United States, affecting an estimated 600,000 people annually. Complications from the disease include scaring of the uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility, plus the disease can be spread to a child during delivery so it’s not something you want to play with. Here’s one more reason to wrap it up.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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