Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that lives in the mucous lining of the penis, throat, anus or eyes.
Using condoms is not completely safe for gonorrhoea but it provides the best protection. Washing your hands with soap and water immediately after sex can also help prevent transmission, especially if having sex with multiple partners.
Gonorrhoea can be transmitted through giving or receiving oral sex, anal sex, and arse play such as fingering or fisting. Touching an infected person’s penis or anus and then touching your own penis, anus or eyes can also transmit the infection
If symptoms are present they will usually develop within 2 to 10 days. Many people who have gonorrhoea will show no symptoms, particularly if they have it in the throat or anus. If the infection is in the arse, the symptoms may include a discharge or pain during bowel movements. If it is in the penis, there may be a clear or yellowish discharge from the penis and stinging or pain when peeing.
Gonorrhoea can be detected by a urethral swab or urine test as well as swabs collected from the anus or throat. It is preferable not to pee for at least one hour prior to having a urine test.
Gonorrhoea is cured with antibiotics. However, recent strains are becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant. If gonorrhoea is in the anus or throat, there will be no symptoms and a follow-up test may be required to ensure the antibiotics are effective. Sexual contact should be avoided for at least a week to ensure the infection has cleared after treatment.
If you’re living with HIV and diagnosed early, gonorrhoea is easily treatable. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of HIV being passed on.