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Thursday, November 12, 2015
New STD often with no symptoms could affect hundreds of thousands of adults
Danger: Mycoplasma genitalium is transferred during sex, scientists have discovered
A new sexually-transmitted disease could have infected hundreds of thousands of people in the UK - and many are not aware because of its lack of symptoms.
An infection called Mycoplasma genitalium, known as MG, is now known to be transferred through sexual activity, scientists warned.
Terrifyingly, an estimated one percent of Brits aged 16-44 are thought to be affected.
The people most at risk from the infection are those from deprived areas, who do not use condoms and have more sexual partners.
The long-term effects of MG are still under investigation, but it can cause inflammation of the urethra and/or cervix, pelvic inflammatory disease and possibly female infertility.
STD: The people most at risk from the infection are those who have had more sexual partners
Scientists analysed 4,500 people from Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.
The rate of infection was much higher in those who reported more than four sexual partners in the past year.
The 200 16-17-year-olds who had not had vaginal, anal, or oral sex had no sign of infection, strengthening fears that it is sexually transmitted.
The majority of participants who tested positive for MG did not report any symptoms in the last month, sparking fears they are unknowingly passing it on.
Condoms: People who don't practise safe sex are more at risk
Over half of women did not report any symptoms, but among those who did, bleeding after sex was most common, reports
Over 90 per cent of MG positive men did not report any symptoms.
Dr Pam Sonnenberg, lead author of the paper commented that: "These findings suggest that only testing those who are currently symptomatic would miss the majority of infections.
"However, further research is needed to understand the clinical implications of infection and possible longer-term complications.
"This information, together with information on resistance patterns to guide antibiotic choice, will inform recommendations on how to test for and manage MG infection."
November 12, 2015
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