Rachel Charlene Lewis
Updated Jul 15, 2016 @ 9:30 pm
Credit: HBO

According to a new study, gonorrhea may be on its way to being harder than ever to get rid of.

While it’s typically super easy to cure, it seems that the gonorrhea-causing bacteria is beginning to show signs of learning its way around the antibiotics usually used to cure our bodies of the STI. This is something that happens with most bacteria, even those that cause acne! Basically, bacteria is smart.

The STI is really common among young people, and it can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat, and can impact anyone who has sex, though it tends to only show symptoms in folks with penises. Those with vaginas are more likely to have only slight symptoms or to have no symptoms at all.

According to the author of the study, “The potential for untreatable gonorrhea is a very real possibility in the future.”

But don’t panic!

Credit: MTV / giphy.com

STIs remain hugely stigmatized, so we get the urge to be grossed out and to totally freak out. After all, those of us who were lucky enough to have sex education classes beyond abstinence-only teachings were often attempted to be deterred from having sex with the threat of STIs. STIs are rarely normalized, but the truth is that most of us will get one at some point, and while it’s not a great time, it’s not the worst thing ever, either.

Remember that when we treat STIs as the end of the world, we add to the stigma that makes many with STIs — incurable and otherwise — feel awful. And that’s the last thing we want to do!

So instead of freaking out, just stay on alert, get tested, and talk to your partners (and your friends!) so you stay up-to-date on health issues like this one. And pay attention to your body! If something is up, don’t stress about hitting up your gyno and getting things checked out.