The risk of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for gay men and transgender women can be reduced through the use of antibiotic pills. As per CDC, their guidelines propose that the use of antibiotic pills can lead to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
The guideline released earlier this week announced that the pill will be finalized after a comment period of 45 days. The rising rates of STDs are reaching a record level that requires more tools to bring them down.
Moreover, studies have found that people who take the antibiotic doxycycline were less likely to get syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea. Additionally, this was proposed after observing participants in the study who were able to prevent common STDs. This was after they engaged in unprotected sex.
The participants in the study were divided into two groups where one took the pill, whereas the other group did not. The observation was clear that people in the first group were better protected against STDs than the second group.
However, the lack of evidence for the rest of the demographic creates a gap that requires filling. The people representing bisexual and gay men as well as transgender women are not accounted for in these studies. This would provide an insight on the risk they are exposed to.
Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the CDC, shared that the lack of innovation was another reason why the guideline focused on the observations from studies conducted on this demographic.
Additionally, Mermin also shared that the reason this guideline was specific to these groups was due to the increased risk of developing STD within 12 months. The other ideas for the innovations in the field of preventing STDs included developing vaccines and pills that can completely prevent HIV.
CDC guidelines were based on the findings of four studies that suggested the use of doxycycline for STDs rather than Rocky Mountain spotted fever. One such study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study found that gay men, bisexual men and transgender women were 90% protected against chlamydia, whereas nearly 80% less likely to develop syphilis, and 50% less likely to develop gonorrhea. These estimates were in comparison to those who did not take the pill after sex.
However, experts caution against the overuse or poor use of the antibiotic as it could cause antibiotic resistance.