You might not have heard of MG, but doctors are now warning of the emerging ‘superbug’.
Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) can cause inflammation of women’s reproductive organs, causing pain and bleeding. It could lead to infertility.
With men, they often don’t have symptoms. However, it can cause the urethra to become inflamed. Discharge could come out from the penis and with the disease, it could be very painful to urinate.
Will MG become the next ‘superbug’?
The STD is more prevalent in people who are HIV-positive, according to a 2009 study.
In a study of 409 gay and bi men in China, researchers found 18.7% of HIV positive participants had MG compared to 7.6% of HIV-negative participants.
You can get MG by having unprotected sex with someone who has it. Condoms can prevent this spread.
MG is rare, and only affects around 1% of the population.
Doctors in Australia and the US often track and test for MG, but it is not yet widely available in the UK.
The disease can be treated with antibiotics.
How one gay man contracted the STD
Chris Williams, from Australia, is a gay man who contracted MG from his former boyfriend
Even though he had regular HIV tests, no doctor had ever administered a test for the little-known bug.
‘It was concerning to me. I didn’t have any symptoms and my friends didn’t know about it as well,’ the 38-year-old said.
Williams had a test, and had to go on two antibiotics to clear the bacterium.
‘I felt relieved, Williams told ABC Australia.
‘Despite being well-educated on sexual health, the number of unknown factors were quite scary, like, am I a carrier? Or, do I need to disclose this to sexual partners?’
New guidelines warn UK must regularly test for MG
New guidelines in the UK are calling for STD clinics to regularly test for MG.
If they don’t, it could become a ‘superbug’.
Paddy Horner, who co-wrote the guidelines, said: ‘Our guidelines recommend that patients with symptoms are correctly diagnosed using an accurate MG test, treated correctly then followed up to make sure they are cured.
‘Resources are urgently needed to ensure that diagnostic and antimicrobial resistance testing is available for women with the condition who are at high risk of infertility.
‘We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiraling out of control.