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Inform all recent sexual partners of your gonorrhea diagnosis

  • gonorrhea
  • partners
  • inform

Question:

"I acquired gonorrhea and can't pinpoint who I got it from. The one person who I had unprotected intercourse of any kind with recently was one person who gave me oral about 30 days before my first symptom. We also had protected PIV sex with a condom in that encounter. I had protected sex with 2 other people a couple weeks later time, using condoms, and no oral, but much closer to the incubation period. I've informed the other two who were more recent even though we used condoms. Should I inform the one from 30 days prior?"

- Anonymous

Response:

Thank you for your question.

It is possible to have gonorrhea for long periods of time without experiencing symptoms. Some people never develop symptoms. Taking that into account, it would be ethical to tell all of your recent sexual partners that you were diagnosed with gonorrhea. 

Gonorrhea can cause permanent damage if it goes untreated. If you have had it for longer than you realize, then one of your partners may be carrying gonorrhea with no symptoms, unaware that they need to get treatment. 

Use your own judgment to decide which sexual partners that you need to inform of your gonorrhea diagnosis. Just remember that it is possible that you may have had the disease for a longer period of time than you realize. Think of any partner you had unprotected sex with. Even if it was six months ago, it is possible that you may have contracted the disease then.

We hope that this answer has been helpful for you and that you are able to an educated decision about which sexual partners you will need to contact.


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