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Gonorrhea contagiousness after treatment
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Gonorrhea contagiousness after treatment

12 days after a 'one night' encounter, I tested positive with gonorrhea (negative for clymidia), I was treated with 500mg CIPRO (single dose) and 100mg doxycycline (2 a day for 7 days) about 4 days after symptoms started (burning during urination and significant discharge).  Most/All symptoms improved very quickly.  I did notice several days later - right after I completed the week of doxy, a slight bit of discharge re-immerging/still lingering even though most was gone and the pain in urination was completely gone.  Because of all the news on many gonorrhea strains being now resistant to CIPRO, I was re-treated with 500mg of cefixime (suspension formulation) just in case about 3 days after I completed the 7 days of doxycycline.  All discharge was completely gone about a day after I drank the 500 mg of cefixime.  I then had sex with someone who I had not had sex with for 2.5 months that was unprotected for a few seconds, then protected for the duration exactly 4.5 days after I drank the 500mg of cefixime.  Since all symptoms were completely gone about 3.5 days before I had sex and since the earlier antibiotics (CIPRO and doxy) may have at least weekened the gonorrhea a bit, I'm hoping there was no risk of infecting my partner.  My primary physician seems to think there was virtually no chance of me infecting anyone 3.5 days after symptoms were gone (and since I've had no symptoms whatsoever for a couple weeks), but I read a lot about recommendations of waiting 7 days after a single dose antibiotic is used to treat gonorrhea before having sex.  What do you think (a detailed answer would be great)?  What are the chances that I infected this person?

Frank
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I agree with your primary care doc.  We STD experts routinely advise patients to wait a week after the end of treatment--in your case, after the cefixime--to reduce the chance of infecting a partner, or getting reinfected.  But that's overkill, and 4 days is plenty.  Your current partner is not at risk.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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Thanks so much.  Out of curiousity, in your estimation how long did it take for the cefixime to kill/render the gonorrhea non contagious?
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Probably less than 24 hours, certainly within 48 hours.
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