Early warning system exposes the rise of the gonorrhoea ‘super-superbug’

The Age, July19th 2017 – 8:32 AM

A critically drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea dubbed a “super-superbug” has been detected in every Australian state and territory by a new national surveillance system.

The National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance (CARAlert) identified 1,064 bacteria highly resistant to last-line antibiotics between 17 March 2016 and 31 March 2017 across 73 laboratories.

Scientists warn that antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is on the rise

WHO, 07 July 2017

Every day, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired worldwide, and each year an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea. New data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea much harder – and sometimes impossible – to treat.

The data has been published in PLOS, in two new scientific articles.

New kind of male contraceptive faces biggest hurdle: drugmakers

The Age,  Published 

Doctors are on the cusp of launching the first new male contraceptive in more than a century. But rather than a Big Pharma lab, the breakthrough is emerging from a university start-up in the heart of rural India.

Years of human trials on the injectable, sperm-zapping product are coming to an end, and researchers are preparing to submit it for regulatory approval. Results so far show it’s safe, effective and easy to use – but gaining little traction with drugmakers.

Rescheduling of ulipristal acetate (EllaOne®) in Australia

SHine SA, October 2016

SHine SA and Family Planning Alliance Australia put in submissions to the TGA for the rescheduling of ulipristal acetate (EllaOne®), a new emergency contraceptive pill in Australia.

The rescheduling is from prescription-only to Schedule 3 (available in pharmacies with a pharmacy consultation). This has now been approved, to take place from February 2017.

This is an important access issue.

EllaOne® emergency contraception has also been added to the SHine SA formulary.

Access TGA information about ulipristal acetate (including links to the public submissions) here 

Update on male contraceptive development

It Takes Two: How Men Fit into Expanding the Family Planning Method Mix

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 5, 2016 9:22 am

The terms “family planning” and “birth control” are synonymous with women’s health and associated with the struggle for equal rights and women’s liberation.  And while the advent of the pill and subsequent advances in contraceptive technology have had enormous implications for women’s health and agency over the last 60 years, male-controlled methods have been responsible for a substantial portion of prevented births for millennia.

Read more here

New Male Contraceptives: What’s in the Near-term Pipeline?

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Several groups are  researching novel methods of contraception for men from three angles:

  1. Hormonal contraceptives to suppress brain signals that direct the testes to make sperm
  2. Non-hormonal contraceptives that inhibit sperm production in the testes or their maturation prior to ejaculation, and
  3. Novel ways to plug the vas deferens.

Read more here

Genetic and Small Molecule Advances Bode Well for Male Contraceptive Development

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 20, 2016 11:05 am

On the male side, only three viable methods of contraception have been developed over several millennia (withdrawal, the condom, and vasectomy). New research in hormonal contraception has led to current clinical trials in men; however, as in women, changes in hormone concentrations have adverse effects in men. Thus, to find a non-hormonal contraceptive for men or women would be a game changer.

Read more here

Making New Male Contraceptives a Reality

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 29, 2016 4:05 pm

A steadfast and devoted group of non-industry scientists, clinicians and advocates—with a desire to bring new and innovative male contraceptive options to market—continues to move the idea forward.  Slow and steady progress is being made, but important challenges still need to be addressed before new male contraceptives become a reality.

Read more here

 

Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea is On the Rise: Should Gay and Bi Men Be Concerned?

Slate, Sept. 2 2016 1:07 PM

For many gay and bi men, it’s a perennial point of contention: Are “minor” sexually transmitted infections—like chlamydia or gonorrhea—a cause for serious concern or major behavior modification?

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, featured in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found a significant rise in resistance to one of the drugs used to treat gonorrhea: azithromycin.