If you thought gonorrhoea — the most antibiotic-resistant of all the sexually transmitted infections can spread through only oral, anal or vaginal sex with someone with the disease, hold on. New research suggests mouth kissing can also be a risk factor in spread of the infection and a good-quality antibacterial mouthwash can help.
The global sexual health community “needs to recognise that gonorrhoea is on the rise and that there should be an increased awareness of the risks of kissing as a route of transmission”, said one of the researchers Christopher Fairley, Professor at Monash University in Australia. “Understanding how it is transmitted is the key to understanding how to control it if transmission by kissing is a key route of transmission then it is important to investigate new methods of control, such as anti-bacterial mouthwash,” Fairley added.
According to the the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea. The new research, indicates that a significant and previously unrecognised route of transmission of the bacterial infection is kissing.
By mapping those who only kissed partners, compared to having sex with partners, the same Fairley team were able to determine that the transmission of the disease is high in people who kiss only, and was higher in those who have sex with kissing compared to those who have sex without kissing.