Gay And Bi Men Beware: The Stool Related STI Shigella Is On The Rise

Gay and Bisexual men beware. It looks like Syphilis isn’t the only STD/STI on the rise among us.

New health reports are finding a worrying increase in cases involving an infection called shigella. Shigella causes symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Unfortunately, shigella is very contagious and only a few germs found in stool can spread the infection.

If any of you know anything about gay sex, you probably know where we’re going with this. It seems that the increase in the sexual practice of rimming has helped the spread of shigella.

So far, most of these cases have been diagnosed in San Diego, California, but many organizations have put out alerts to all gay men across the globe, according to GayStarNews and GayPopBuzz.

One organization that’s released a statement about this disease is the LGBT Foundation. You can read their full statement down below:

“There has been a recent rise in cases of Shigella among men who have sex with men. If you’re not sure what Shigella is or how to protect yourself, read on!

Shigella is caused by bacteria found in poo (feces) getting in your mouth – which means you can get shigella from rimming, oral sex, or putting your fingers in your mouth after handling used condoms, douches or sex toys

If you have Shigella, you may have an upset stomach including fever, stomach ache, and diarrhea which might have blood in it. These symptoms can last for around a week.

To lower your risk, you can wash your hands, bum and genitals after sex. You could use a dental dams, condoms, and fisting gloves to protect you when having oral sex, fisting, and fingering

You should change condoms between partners, and between anal and oral sex, whether they’re on a penis, hands, or sex toys

Shigella is easily treated with a course of antibiotics so if you think you have Shigella, go to a sexual health (GUM) clinic or your GP and explain your symptoms, saying that you think you may have picked up an infection from sex.”

h/t: GayStarNews, GayPopBuzz

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Why oh why are there TWO photos accompanying this article which depict attractive young white men wearing surgical masks? 

Having suffered a bout of Shigella --- brought to San Francisco by a friend returning from a vacation in Mexico --- I know that the disease is nothing to sneeze at.  Is that why you show men wearing masks designed as barriers against airborne pathogens?  I suppose wearing such a mask during sex might provide some protection from bacterial infection, depending on what it's made of and how it's used.  Is THAT what you had in mind?  Or was there really no more-appropriate copyright-free artwork available?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.   That's the theoretical equivalent of two thousand inappropriate words, against 130 for the article and about 200 for the copied alert, which curiously enough seems to be from a British organization whose client base is ostensibly many thousands of miles from the "worrying increase" seen in San Diego. 

I suppose it's better this article exists than if it didn't, as it might spare someone some horrible sick time.  But come on, I know you can do better!

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