A Developing Risk

It is important to note that the incidence of “sexually transmitted diseases” (STDs) has increased across all age groups. Most noteworthy is that, for those between the ages of 55 and 64, reports of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, according to the CDC. One emerging risk involves the relatively newly identified bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), which was first isolated in the 1980s. Able to infect both men and women, MG is responsible for more STDs than gonorrhea and is the second most prevalent STD (after chlamydia). Most people infected with MG are unaware because they are asymptomatic or their symptoms mimic other diseases. Patients with persistent urethritis or cervicitis, therefore, should be tested for MG.

P.S. In the absence of an FDA-approved test, the preferred technique for testing for MG is a nucleic acid amplification test, which analyzes urine.