Anyone who is sexually active can get gonorrhea if their sexual partner has the infection. Gonorrhea can be cured with the right medication. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious health problems over time. The sooner a person with gonorrhea is treated, the better their health outcomes. People who are being tested should request site-specific testing based upon the type of sex they have engaged in. A urine test will detect gonorrhea in the urinary tract, but won’t identify an infection of the throat (from oral receptive sex) or rectum (from anal receptive sex).
The Health Department can help Vermonters find access to treatment for gonorrhea if they don’t have the ability to pay for it. Vermont has a relatively low number of identified gonorrhea infections when compared to the rest of the U.S. In our state, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with other men represent a disproportionate number of gonorrhea cases. A gonorrheal infection, especially of the rectum, increases the risk of HIV acquisition. Nationally, 10% of gay men with rectal gonorrhea infection acquire HIV within one year.
We can help Vermonters with gonorrhea understand their diagnosis and treatment. On a free and voluntary basis, the Health Department can assist people diagnosed with gonorrhea to notify their sexual partners and link these partners to testing or treatment.