Officials: Staph ‘Superbug’ Spreading in Gay Community

They report: “Although researchers have stopped short of declaring this form of staph a sexually transmitted disease, the infections are found where skin-to-skin contact occurs during sexual activity. Most of the infections are limited to the skin surface, but the bacteria can invade deeper tissues or disseminate through the bloodstream. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, various forms of MRSA are causing 95,000 of these more costly and potentially life-threatening infections annually in the United States and 19,000 deaths. Until last year, staph infections had never been linked to sexual activity.”

The best defense against preventing the spread of the bacteria is soap and water. Said Dr. Chip Chambers, director of infectious diseases at San Francisco General: “Taking a shower after sexual contact may minimize contamination. Ordinary soap will do. It dilutes the concentration of bacteria. You don’t need antibacterial soap.”

Drug-resistant staph found to be passed in gay sex [reuters]
San Francisco’s gay community hit by new form of staph infection [sf chronicle]

Comments

  1. ReasonBased says

    So the gays gave AIDS to the world and now superbug staph infection…perhaps it is time to look in the mirror and see the rampant drug fueled promiscuity which is certainly to blame. Straight guys play in their early twenties but by their late 20s or early 30s they settle down, have children and change their priorities for the most part. Gays on the other hand live in some sort of a perpetual party mode.

  2. ReasonBased says

    So the gays gave AIDS to the world and now superbug staph infection…perhaps it is time to look in the mirror and see the rampant drug fueled promiscuity which is certainly to blame. Straight guys play in their early twenties but by their late 20s or early 30s they settle down, have children and change their priorities for the most part. Gays on the other hand live in some sort of a perpetual party mode.

  3. David says

    It’s the internet…The internet and the endless options for meeting other men online for anonymous sexual enocunters is what has the fueled the rise in diseases. This scares me, and it should scare everyone, I think….

  4. says

    I had an MRSA, which I did not get from sex. A major source of this, and a possible reason the gay community is so highly affected is the spread of the germs by handling the same equipment in a gym. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when working out and after, nd don’t itch, scratch, rub your eyes/nose/mouth while at the gym.

  5. Pierre says

    I have to admit that I thought something similar. I don’t know about the whole comparison to the dominant heterosexual culture where everything seems fine and dandy in your comparison, but I do think that the gays need to choose to become more than a pitre dish.

  6. Dan says

    “Gays gave AIDS to the world” … ???

    The folks in Africa would beg to differ, sweetheart (it predominantly effects the heterosexual population there). Not to mention all the straight drug users in Europe/America who are doing their part to perpetuate the disease. It’s very simple, my ever-so-reasonable-yet-impossibly-dense friend: immature, irresponsible actions NOT sexuality are responsible for the continued spread of this disease.

    Repeat that three time in your head before penning some asinine response.

    Reasonbased, huh? Let me guess … you totally support Ron Paul for prez and read Ayn Rand religiously, right?

  7. Gary says

    I have been sick for seven weeks with something that is mimicking this. Tests have not been conclusive about what I have yet. Mine started out as a very bad cold, then went to pneumonia, and now has been all over my body. I have not had a voice in four weeks.

    To say that this is sexually contracted would not be the case in my situation, as I have been in a five-year monogamous relationship. It has been horrendous. I’ve had three courses of antibiotics and two different steroids and still no relief. And now my partner is starting to show symptoms.

    Please be careful friends.

  8. DREDD says

    Someone wrote: Gays on the other hand live in some sort of a perpetual party mode…..Well SOME gays do. Most don’t believe it or not. I certainly don’t. And what I hear and read about Syph, Staph, Hepatitis, well I will restrict me to the occasional half virgin 😉 straying str8 dude in his late teens, no kissing, and I will top only, with 2 condoms. Anyway sex is boring and I’ve read all the books. Let’s make more money!

  9. Salbashian says

    I work in a hospital and what Dan says is 100% true. Just being in the gym makes you more at risk of catching MRSA. It’s not about sex it’s about just daily contact with someone MRSA positive. Just remember to wash with soap and water… :)

  10. peterparker says

    Staphylococcus Areus…whether methicillin resistant or not…is spread by skin to skin contact or by touching a surface on which the bacteria lives. The fact that some forms are resistant to methicillin (the first line treatment) while others require newer, more expensive antibiotics does not change the way in which it is transmitted. This means that you can contract it by shaking hands with someone who has it or by picking up weights at the gym that were just used by someone with a staph infection or, perhaps, by having sex with someone who has it. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that MRSA (which is fairly contagious) would spread within a population such a the gay community, the Amish community, a college campus, an army barracks, etc…while people outside that community remain uninfected. That doesn’t, however, mean that MRSA in the gay community is an STD that is being spread by promiscuous gay men.

    I’ve had MRSA twice (about 5 years ago and then again about 4 years ago). The first infection was on my neck…not exactly a site you would associate with an STD…and the most sexual activity I had for weeks prior to the appearance of my staph infection was an evening of making out with a cute guy (and yes, our clothes stayed on all evening)…so I find it fairly outrageous that San Francisco doctors are playing this up as being transmitted by gay men who are sexually active (which we all know is a euphemism for promiscuous).

    The second time I had MRSA it was on my index finger during a period in which I was whoring around…however, given my activities at the time, I would think the infection would have been in my throat or cock…not on my finger.

    And I have one word for the doctor who said “Once it spreads into the general population, it will be truly unstoppable”: Vancomycin.

    I’m not buying the MRSA-as-STD argument. Sorry.

  11. basis4insanity says

    REASONBASED is an anagram for One Bared Ass. Your post is amazingly uninformed, biased, some might say self-loathing and well…I say just plain embarrassing… like well, One Bared Ass.

    My gift to the world isn’t the aids virus I’ve been carrying around with me for the last 22 years. No, my gift is the ability to accessorize that virus into my daily life with dignity, love and all the humor and panache necessary to get me from one day to the next. Oh yeah, and my one ass is never bared inappropriately & my cock never enteres one bared ass.

  12. Jimmyboyo says

    The australians are having a wonderful and easy time curing the supposed untreatable staph with honey dressings.

    It is now standard ausie hospital procedure to use sterilized honey dressings to treat such with a huge success rate

    Go figure.

    :-)

  13. arundel says

    Yeah, it’s the gym, not the rampant promiscuous drug-fueled fucking that’s brought new HIV infections among young gay men to such a peak it’s a major article in the OpEd of today’s New York Times.

    WTF people? I find it sad that you’re considered over-the-hill at 30 in the gay community, and that contempt has young people utterly ignoring the danger and horrors of severe lifelong infection and death that we ancient relics lived through. I’m 36.

    Escalating STDs of ALL kinds are thru the roof lately, this is the newest horror that straights will slam us with. Way to go, guys.

    WTF. Some “community”.

  14. Zeke says

    REASONBASED, let’s be fair. Straight men, who you idolize, start their sexual rampages shortly after puberty (with no closet issues) AND THEN CONTINUE through their twenties and sometimes early thirties and beyond.

    I think you left out the VERY significant part where they go through a normal, unoppressed, uncloseted, free period of sexual exploration and revelation while gay people are still, for the most part, playing it straight and getting no chance to explore and have revelations WITHIN THEIR TRUTH.

    Most gay men come out in their 20’s and 30’s. Many in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond. At THAT point THEIR exploration clock starts ticking where a straight person’s started at 14-16. Some also feel that they have a lot of making up to do; especially those who come out late in life.

    Though I agree with you that many gay men could do with a little growing up and being responsible (ie drug abuse, unsafe sex and sex obsession) I totally disagree with your accusations, misinformation and comparison of apples with oranges.

  15. JT says

    First of all, I’d like to read the study. That “sexually active gay men are 13 times more likely” to be infected is a compelling statistic. But what I would like to know how this was determined. Who comprised their sample? Did these participants contract the infection through sex? What else did these men have in common?

    If one looks at the graphic, it seems that there may be other neighborhood surfaces common to the sample besides skin. Consider Legionnaire’s disease. What was common to those infected that proved most relevant (if memory serves) was contact with contaminated water. I think the observations about gym equipment are excellent ones, but I wonder what other surfaces one touches in one’s neighborhood might be of interest. Doors to the grocer’s? Neighborhood restaurants? Public transportation?

    I’m not giving the promiscuous and/or irresponsible in our community a “pass” – I’m just saying that there may be more to this than meets the eye reading such a short synopsis of a study. Certainly at this point, comments about “gifts” of disease from Gay men to the world are at best premature and at worst ignorant as fuck.

  16. oregon state student says

    I think it should be noted that MRSA is only a problem if you’re immunosuppressed for some reason. About half of the population is immunosuppressed due to young or old age, medication, or disease.

  17. Paul says

    To JT: It’s not just people in the neighborhood, it’s gay men in the neighborhood. And it’s not just San Francisco, it’s L.A., Boston, and New York. Who don’t ride the Muni and shop at Safeway…That being said, I appreciate your skepticism.

  18. Jordan says

    When I glanced at this (sorry, didn’t really read it) I thought they were talking about roaches or some kind of insects & I thought “ooh, gross”, but then I thought, “wait, how can they be gay?”…lol

    Is this worse than mono? I’ve caught that before from guys from when I was
    x-tra slutty and on heavy party mode…mono is awful. You can’t party at ALL.

  19. brian says

    I found this an incredibly homophobic Reuters article and I also found the scientists involved to be quite homophobic in the way they made their point. The journalists and scientists are trying to demonize gay sex, simple as that. My point is that it’s not gay sex that causes it, it’s promiscuity and lack of hygiene. Blame promiscuity and lack of hygiene – which applies to both homosexuals and heterosexual – and not the gender combination of the sex acti. These journalists and researchers would have the public believe that anal sex is evil and disease-ridden if it’s between two men but not if it’s between a man and woman.

  20. matt says

    There is more anal sex in male-female combinations than there is in male-male combinations. Yet these scientists continue to demonize the male-male version rather than the male-female version. Someohow, itf it’s a penis going into a man’s behind, it’s somewhat more conducive to disease than if it’s a penis going into a woman’s behind. Yeah, right.

  21. Tari says

    Well, I have an idea. Why don’t we all go back and crawl under the puritanical rock where we came from? In case no one has noticed, one thing is for certain and that is death. Get used to it kiddies, evolution must continue its course no matter how hard we might want to stop it. We could not have stopped it all from happening, not even in a million years. Stop looking for the scape goat. It has never existed.

  22. Shame and Prejudice says

    In the Reuters article, the good doctor says : “We think that it’s spread through sexual activity,” Diep said. They THINK, they didn’t interview people, they assume. Since it spreads in a rather gay neighbourood, that must be through er – anal – sex. Of course. Yeah. And if he gets it, with his name, that will be from eating too much rice, no?

  23. Jimmyboyo says

    Seriously all

    no need to fight

    The ausies and new zealanders as well as the britts and other europeans have already solved the antibiotic resitant staph problem

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1297205

    Journal of the royal society of medicine

    Honey. Seriously all. No need to fuss. Be monogamous be loose. Be celibate or be fruitful and spread your seed in and or on as many males as you want (use a condom to prevent the spread of HIV though)

    The problem isn’t a problem. Us americans are the only ones behind the curve on the treatment.

    Simple honey beats the antiobiotic resistant staph.

    The us pharmicutecals though can’t make tons of money off of slathering honey on wounds though.

    :-)

    Thank the bees

  24. Jimmyboyo says

    PS slathering honey all over each other during sex not only helps solve the potential MRSA problem but also is sticky fun, tastes good, and full of nutrients that are good for your body

    :-)

  25. Georgiaguy says

    I got a staph Christmas 2006 that was drug resistant, but treatable with a strong course of three different antibiotics. I had not had sexual contact with anyone in several weeks, maybe months. (My safe sex is watching porn and doing myself.) However, I am a dedicated athlete, going to the gym at least five times a week to take step aerobics and lift weights. My gay doctor believes I contracted my case from going to the gym, as he had seen several other cases of people with strong gym habits. Save the judgement opinions for Pat Robertson and rest in hell Jerry Falwell. I test positive in 1986, but 22 years later I am still healthy. I have never taken any of the HIV drugs, but viral loads remain negligible after all these years. Take that bigots!!!

  26. RedMonkey says

    First off, a lot of you are not talking about MRSA Staph… which is very difficult to contain/cure. And it would make sense that it is deviantly spreading in warm parts of the body. And Manuka (only this variety from New Zealand) honey is known to attack MRSA. You can buy Manuka off the web and it can be applied topically or consumed. Local honey, while good for your immune system, isn’t likely to attack Staph in the same way.

    By the way, none of this has anything to do with being gay. And being gay has nothing to do with the rise of MRSA infections, nor should the gay community ever be blamed for its increasing infections. So shame on the way the press is spinning MRSA news this way.

  27. JT says

    To Paul

    Yeah, I thought about the local Safeway too, after I posted, and how the myriad of patrons might differ (and as an aside, IS there a local Safeway in the Castro? My visits have not revealed to me many chain supermarkets, but I’m no expert, and admit not having looked). But there may still be venues particular to a certain clientele within a given neighborhood worth investigating for surfaces other than steamy flesh. The people most likely to encounter people in a particular neighborhood might also share common interests and activities of all sorts – hence, one’s straight neighbor(s) might not be the person or persons one invites over for Sunday brunch or for brunch a at a local restaurant. And the contacts one has with like minded and affiliated persons might spread quicker to adjoining neighborhoods with other like minded and affiliated people. Could this affiliation be primarily sexual? Sure. But there are other possibilities, particularly with contagion not limited to sexual contact. I also read the article in the Chronicle, which gave a slightly different spin on the “13 times” bit of this than was interpreted here.

    I keep thinking about the graphic, and the incidence rates. While the idea that one might be sexual transmitting this menace sexually is compelling, I’m just wondering about sexual contact versus mundane contact. I wonder if a local take-out restaurant might not be suspect. I wonder if all of the people who are sexually active in the Castro are only active with their neighbors. I wonder if people ever visit the bars or other venues in the Castro from all around in order to hook up, or if just those people who live there hook up – a bit more skepticism here, by the way. When people from all over report infection, and report having had sex in the Castro, this could get truly interesting.

    I appreciate your acknowledging the importance of skepticism. And I bid you a good evening, and night.

  28. James says

    There is so much wrong with reports like that hyped warning I do not know where to begin. Oh so tired it is to blame “unsafe” anal sex practices with yet another plague upon the ‘innocent.’ That meme is truly the gift that keeps on giving, undead and immortal. AND after so long usually just irritating save the fact that the REAL issues here are so important.

    The facts: A common bacteria, that lives EVERYWHERE – just like ‘E-Coli,’ has gone mutant. And it has been spreading throughout the population for YEARS. “Is beginning” was what the report said. WRONG. Has done. For a while. Is spreading more. “Once this reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable,” the most quoted source, Binh Diep, said. What planet is he living on? When was he quoted saying that?? Two years ago??? Besides people going home (with it) after getting it in hospitals, still, people get it from sports and gyms and schools and prisons – anywhere people are concentrated and have skin on skin contact.

    “Unstoppable” is too late. Treatable is what is now. But if you read the article you;d think “Gee, I;m not gay so I won’t contact it as long as I don’t touch a gay person…” or “Gee, I don’t have wild kinky sex and don’t associate with “those people” so I’m OK.” or “Well, I’ll just avoid any touching of anybody’s nose or anus” or somesuch, but what it REALLY means is that you have a 30% chance of getting fully innoculatted with someone’s staph culture if they touched their nose before shaking your hand, and hadn’t washed before(hand.) Multiply that by the percentage of MRSA in the general population and that’s still a lot of MRSA transmission.

    I think most people shake hands more often or at least as often as I have sex.

    The current identifiable population with the community based staph is more gay than the general population. Also it is more HIV+. That does not mean that’s where the actual population of living staph on people is – that’s just the segment that’s gotten sick so far. And they now know how it’s treated and spread and how transmission can be minimized, of course if they survived.

    But people who read articles like this do not see themselves as so vulnerable and therefore are not motivated to investigate what they can do IMMEDIATELY if they get something suspicious and how to treat it. or even what to tell your doctor so as to get the extremely important early treatment if necessary. Symptoms, and what to do – THAT is what the article’s proper topic was, and it failed miserably. If it were a typical article about Britteny Spears or Paris Hilton, fine. But this is life and death, and OUR life and death at that. All that article implied was that gays were diseased and dying (who cares) and then maybe infecting others some time in the future, damn them!

    I got a staph infection after socializing and getting a bug bite abrasion and going in a hot tub. I got a red boil with no defined center that grew FAST and within two days I went to my doctor, then the emergency room and within the time I was waiting to be seen it was spreading up my leg like the classic ‘blood poisoning’ of old. I could have been dead if I waited another day. The doctor took one look and said “community based staph,” assumed it was resistant and put me on Clindamycin. It worked. They did no cultures, and was probably counted as MRSA – they are seeing it constantly.

    My take is that since my immune system is perhaps not so aggressive once an infection by this bug which produces new and potent toxins as well as more of it’s fellows gets a certain start, it keeps growing. And FAST So folk who might have a less aggressive initial immune response – for whatever reasons – are all at more risk. I think anyone who lets an infection go a while is at real risk. We ALL must just be more diligent now. Any break in my skin I put topical antibiotic – Clindamycin with alcohol, just like an acne medicine I used to use, called “Cleocin” – I stopped two subsequent infections right after the initial one I believe, where I got what I would have thought was a pimple, where a pimple would never be. (My side under my ribs.) Honey is an ancient and effective antibiotic, as well as certain clays, I still have a small supply of antibiotics…

    What we are seeing is all rather medieval, like ‘plague of boils’ etc., but instead of blaming gay people for it one could equally thank these early victims for the WARNING like canaries in the coal mine we all are in, and all look to our own health like yesterday as opposed to tomorrow. Watch your skin and wash it, just like you have to do with food for E-Coli. Google and Wikipedia are your friends, NOT Reuters. Shame on you Reuters! Thanks Towleroad.

  29. mike says

    Well, here we go again: blame the gays for “spreading disease”. I tend to think that it is probably being spread more through the gym (improper cleansing of equipment and bath facilities) than through sexual contact. Better hygiene (soap and water) tends to stop most of these types of infections dead in their tracks. Also, our mania for a “disease-free” society has created these treatment-resistant infections from the indiscriminate use of antibiotic medicines and antibiotic washes. I’d blame the hospitals before I’d blame the gays.

  30. mike says

    Well, here we go again: blame the gays for “spreading disease”. I tend to think that it is probably being spread more through the gym (improper cleansing of equipment and bath facilities) than through sexual contact. Better hygiene (soap and water) tends to stop most of these types of infections dead in their tracks. Also, our mania for a “disease-free” society has created these treatment-resistant infections from the indiscriminate use of antibiotic medicines and antibiotic washes. I’d blame the hospitals before I’d blame the gays.

  31. rudy says

    Scepticism about the scientific foundations of this “study” is justified. The blame the gays reaction is all too prevalent. Nevertheless, this infection is spreading and has very serious consequences, particularly for our community in which so many have suppressed immune systems. Sexual contact may be a transmission mechanism but it is not the only source. I have been in a monogamous relationship longer than most of you are old. Yet, I contracted MRSA Staph (diagnosed as such) and had to undergo several courses of antibiotics. Every student doctor in the hospital was called in to review my case to be able to recognize the symptoms. I more than likely caught the infection at the gym (according to my doctor(s)). Even though I wash my hands frequently, I am appalled by the number of men who use the bathroom and walk out without washing their hands. Take the infection–if not the so-called study–seriously folks. And Jimbo, honey is not a cure-all, particularly for the increasing number of diabetics. A contributing factor has likely been the over use of antibiotics which may have caused drug-resistant infections to mutate, however, that does not diminish the potentially fatal consequences. The flippant attitude expressed by our resident pseudo-twinks has definitely contributed to the rise in STDs, including HIV, and other infections in the gay community. Ignorance, feigned or not, is not cute; indeed, it is dangerous and becoming more so.

  32. brian says

    Well of course there is infection but articles like this simply reinforce the “blame the gays’ mentality that still exists in journalistic and scientific circles. Journalists and scientists still frame the argument as if it’s the wicked gay sex act that is responsible for all and sundry. As a gay community, we really have to protest in the strongest possible terms to these scientitists and their journalistic enablers.

  33. Jimmyboyo says

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/complementary_medicine/article546494.ece

    article link out of the uk , specific about manuka honey which has shown wonderful results in treating MRSA and a whole lot of other things.

    About 2 months ago 6 cases of MRSA popped up amongst suburbia children outside of the Washington DC area. They were on the verge of shutting down schools in the DC suburbs. The cases popped up amongst imigrant children. Nothing about gays spreading it.

  34. Ben says

    Um…locally here in the Cincinnati metro area, there was a MRSA outbreak. It involved a local high school football team in a wealthy part of town. The reporters, interviewed scientists, etc., all stressed that the bacteria was spread through the shared gym space and skin to skin contact at practice. The parents at the school had demanded the locker rooms and gyms be sanitized 3 times but the MRSA continued to spread because they wouldn’t cancel the football season. This new gay panic is just that – a panic. Likely more right wing ridiculousness – remember, they own most of big media now.

    Separate from this is the rising STD and HIV rates. That IS something the gay community needs to preach about.

    Just the other day, on an online site, I got into an argument with a 23 yr old who propositioned me. I wasn’t looking for that, but I nonetheless told him I wouldn’t with him anyway as he clearly indicated he was only interested in unsafe/bareback sex. He told me I was being conservative and that he plans to live his life liberated and free, that he isn’t afraid of HIV. I told him, jolly for you, but I’m scared of it, as well as various other STDs. He could NOT grasp the idea that he should be afraid of contracting HIV, syphilis or what have you. He assumes he can just take some antibiotics and antivirals and go on with life.

    Frankly, I wanted to slap the shit out of him.

    How do we reach these people, esp the younger ones, but the older ones too who’ve embraced a certain nihilism, through apparent thought or drugs, to convince them that they are doing both themselves and likely unsuspecting others far more harm than pleasure? I lay awake at night considering this one.

  35. Joseph says

    Andy, You have taken some liberties reporting that the super MRSA bug “is now being transmitted sexually by gay men in large urban areas”. You have implied that the bug is sexually transmitted … this is NOT the case … “researchers have stopped short of declaring this form of staph a sexually transmitted disease”.

    About 30 per cent of all people carry ordinary staph chronically. The bug is airborne and can be be passed along by skin to skin contact including touching other people or by depositing the bacteria on surfaces or objects. Of those people who carry staph, most carry it in their noses.

    Community-based MRSA can also live in and around the anus and is passed between sexual partners … this does not mean that it is sexually transmitted.

    Sadly, Andy, on this occassion, your opening line is misleading … if read by the wrong people it could contribute to discrimination against the gay coimmunity.

  36. Gary says

    I agree with Joseph-it’s looking like I now have this dreaded superbug and I have been in a monogamous relationship for five years. I do work in a LGBTQ organization, however.

    I am not coming to conclusions about its path to transmission but feel that this is more of an environmental issue than a sexual one. Skin-on-skin or skin-on-contaminated surface and not sexually exclusive.

    Both me and my partner are equally frustrated by the lack of support we have received from our doctors (one of them is gay.) I have been sick for SEVEN WEEKS as of today. We are both very worried that they have been negligent on their awareness, and I might have been better already if they would’ve looked into this.

  37. Luke Kennedy says

    I have two points:

    1. Lets be real. Right now: This is a disease being spread through the gay community, by gay people – whether you like the sound of that or not.

    2. I’m in London, and it’s in today’s Londons Metro newspaper and on BBC News. I don’t see it on USA Today or CNN. Why not?

  38. Pugzz says

    This is old news and the blaming is ridiculous. MRSA came into being from something researchers have known for years. Doctor’s treated too many people for minor things ( and patients begged them to) and created a “Super Bug” that is now resistent.
    It showed up in gays probably because those with HIV are extremely likely to be infected and get very sick. The straight-biased CDC and other goverment medical services did nothing until they saw it in other communities. It was the same with HIV/AIDS. Until it spilled over into the straight community they just didn’t care that gay men wre dying. Again, the responsible gay medical community was warning them that this was happening but no one listened.

    This disease was also in hospitals even before it was found in the gay populations.
    There are trillions of ways that it got to the general population. It’s NOT a gay disease.

    THE GOOD NEWS…wash your hands often…don’t share equipment without cleaning it down and always place a towel between you and surfaces at the gym. Shower immediately after excercise. Wear shoes that protect your feet in the locker room. Use good hygiene and protect yourself easily.

  39. Pugzz says

    This is old news and the blaming is ridiculous. MRSA came into being from something researchers have known for years. Doctor’s treated too many people for minor things ( and patients begged them to) and created a “Super Bug” that is now resistent.
    It showed up in gays probably because those with HIV are extremely likely to be infected and get very sick. The straight-biased CDC and other goverment medical services did nothing until they saw it in other communities. It was the same with HIV/AIDS. Until it spilled over into the straight community they just didn’t care that gay men wre dying. Again, the responsible gay medical community was warning them that this was happening but no one listened.

    This disease was also in hospitals even before it was found in the gay populations.
    There are trillions of ways that it got to the general population. It’s NOT a gay disease.

    THE GOOD NEWS…wash your hands often…don’t share equipment without cleaning it down and always place a towel between you and surfaces at the gym. Shower immediately after excercise. Wear shoes that protect your feet in the locker room. Use good hygiene and protect yourself easily.

  40. Luke Kennedy says

    Pugzz – Yes MRSA has been around for some time, but this is a new strain. Call it MRSA VERSION 2 if you like. It’s highly resistant to medication, and is the first time to be found outside of hospital, and is being spread within the GAY community.

    We all know anyone can catch it, but if gay people aren’t willing to address this as a gay-issue what help can we expect from the general population?

    As a footnote, perhaps if gay Americans were [legally] encouraged to settle down and marry, then these diseases wouldn’t spread so rapidly…

  41. says

    I also want to add (37 comments after my first one) that I saw two doctors when I was diagnosed with MRSA, an infection inside my nose (so pretty) and neither one even remotely suggeted that I could have contracted it through sex. Both asked me about my gym habits, and upon finding out i frequent the gym, both said the likely cause was wiping or itching my nose after picking up the germs there.

    and James, if you treated your staph infection with clindamycin, you did not have MRSA. The cocktail of drugs it took to treat mine, the same used to treat resistant tuberculosis, was far more significant than a mild topical solution.

    Someone else above raised another problem area. Hot tubs. Hot tubs are also often to blame for the spread of the germs. If you have open wounds, bug bites or similar, avoid getting in the hot tub with your other intoxicated friends. The germs fester in the warm water.

  42. Drew says

    It’s Meth. Usage and unsafe sex practices go hand in hand. I’m not at all surprised at any of this. Not just MRSA but syph, HIV and other STDs (all on the rise with gay men). We need to start respecting ourselves and working as a community to further battle this drug epidemic, in urban centers and across the nation, or disease will continue to break us down.

  43. says

    Washing your hands after you use the bathroom or have sex is a simple way to keep yourself healthy.

    I am amazed at the amount of people who don’t wash their hands after using a public bathroom such as a restaurant, nightclub, airport or rest area on the highway.. You don’t have to use anti-bacterial soap either. Just good old fashioned soap and water.. Dr Bronners soap is nice too..

    Another thing is that people wash their clothes in detergents with chemicals and “fragrances” which then transfer onto the body and weaken the immune system.

    I always wash my clothes in fragrance free soap so I don’t smell like a Glade candle. Don’t even get me started on how unhealthy Glade and Febreeze products are..

  44. James says

    Responding to Dan B, who said that since my infection responded to Clindamycin it was “not MRSA,” it is not that simple. I probably had MRSA, of the first strain / mutant off an older strain as reported in the articles and documented well on Wikipedia etc. Both are very similarly BAD if left untreated. They both rapidly escalate when they get going and produce toxins (part of the mutation) that are quite different from normal staph that when you get enough of them cause necrosis etc.

    What I had was rapid spreading and did not behave like a regular infection, more like ‘cellulitis,’ which I had never had to that date. There was some pus, but no defined area where it was, and drainage was not a therapeutic option. Sometimes for some people it is, it depends. But the worst was the pain and swelling from the reaction to the bacteria’s toxins – something regular Staph just does not do. Kinda like the mutant E-Coli, also caused by antibiotic abuse but in cattle…

    If you have these symptoms most likely the doctors will start you on something like Clindamycin first, along with Bactrim if you are lucky enough not to be allergic to Sulfa. Bactrim alone might have worked, some doctors just do that. But in South Florida where they see it everywhere they start aggressively with the strongest of the old line antibiotics first. If it doesn’t start improving quickly then they go to the big guns. You really want to try the smaller ones first, there are horrendous side-effects and pain with some of them. But if you have to have them then you have to have them.

    What I had is the strain causing the most infections, and is just about everywhere, now. True the story the post is talking about is the newest badasfuck strain, but the issue involves all strains. In fact the current reaction to the spread of the new strain shows the public health officials and research doctors involved have learned NOTHING from the first wave, ir they are just so stubborn they want to try to try the way they thought they could have prevented the first strain – stop gays from associating and having sex. Like “Gee – if only we could have stopped those gay guys from spreading it the first time we could have prevented it’s widespread distribution now – Let’s blame them for the new strain more loudly and see if that works.” Sometimes really smart people can be dumb as shit. And even irrational. The fact we’re seeing the infections from the new strain occurring and spreading just like the old strain means simply that it’s too damn late (to “protect” the “rest of the populace.”) EVERYBODY needs to be aware of it / them. And of course guys who have a lot of sex and nudists et al do need to add some precautions to their routines for sure.

    And lest anyone have taken that article as it was presented, San Francisco is hardly unique for possessing actively spreading multi drug resistant Staph in many many people, It is in every major city for sure. A friend of mine got the most nasty of strains last year at a private hospital in Fort Lauderdale after sinus surgery. One year later he has no active infection and decreased hearing in one ear from one of the antibiotics. He got it in the hospital. He doesn’t do Meth. He doesn’t have HIV. I do not do Meth. Meth makes it worse for sure, but this disease is not related to bad habits or sinfulness.

    Honey is a topical antiseptic / sort-of-antibiotic, can’t hurt, might help, (of course when you ingest it it becomes, er, food.) Certain clays are helpful in drawing out the toxins from infections, and discouraging growth, Silver in colloidal suspension is an antibiotic if you can get it next to a germ, etc. Anybody who’s lived through the no-drug AIDS days knows this along with all the patent medicine crapola and more. But when antibiotics are neutered, and our faith in magic that is science is shattered, there is some cause to investigate the old magic that was science. We have forgotten certain techniques and herbs that were used of old when that’s all anybody had – compresses, homeopathic anti-inflammatory stimulants, topical vitamins to prevent over-vascularization and keloid, and lymph cleansing herbs etc could all really help and every little bit helps as this infection is still a bacteria, produces potent toxins, and leaves deep scars. Arnica Montana can help inflammation, for example, but I recommend getting the homeopathic dosage in traditional tiny pill form – it has entered a fad stage recently and is included in many useless newer formulations.

    My homemade antibiotic delivery system is one capsule of Clindamycin in about 5cc everclear. Shake, apply, it will sting. But it will evaporate and leave no toxic residue. Isopropyl alcohol would do, but I also use DMSO gel to get it to carry the antibiotic itself into the skin. Leave on for as long as you can, wipe off, repeat a few times a day. This is for a small pimple that behaves strangely. Also bactrim / Septra / Sulfamethoxazole should be used too, if not allergic… DMSO is found at health food stores, and is strange and stinks. use sparingly and be very careful as it will absorb toxins like fragrances, insecticides etc just as easily as medicines. (Your skin must be clean before application.) I think the beginning very small superficial abrasion stage can be treated this way, of course if the bug is not resistant, once it goes deeper you have to dose your system, and as much as I loved the way Clindamycin worked it left a horrible taste in my mouth the whole time and ripped my guts worse than any antibiotic I have ever taken, Yet. Reminiscent of Viracept + beans.

    Take Wholistic Internet remedies with a grain of salt. Including mine. It works for me and might be of use for someone else. People tend to believe in the magic of Wholistic / New Age remedies the same as folk believe in science like it’s magic. Kinda funny that way. And most of the people who promote either are NOT the ones who have ever been sick with what they purport to cure! They are usually businessmen, if you know what I mean.

    Wash, wash, examine your skin and treat all infections. “Where has his hand been?” you will think with hardly any creativity needed to imagine the True answer every time… Aah Well, we are all biological beings, you will get used to it, and wash when you can. – And regular soap is better as it is the soap itself that’s quite antibacterial enough, the “antibacterial” chemicals in the soap-du-jour crap nowadays is incredibly harmful to the environment as it doesn’t break down, like some insecticides, and cannot be good for us, can it?

  45. Vi Agara says

    The gay community is not the only community having a lot of sex. The young and hetero community is probably having as much and they have more members. That an infection you can get by picking your nose after lifting a barbell in a gym is a gay infection is incredibly biased and stupid. Having said that, and having known, someone who had this (straight married guy) all precautions to protect yourself are warranted.

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