Gonorrhea (gah-nuh-REE-uh), known in street language as "the clap," is an STI caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae (also called gonococcus).

Incidence and Transmission

Gonorrhea is the second most reported infectious condition in the United States, trailing only chlamydia (Workowski et al., 2010). The CDC estimates that there are more than 700,000 new cases of gonorrhea each year (Bolan et al., 2012). Unfortu­nately, after declining or remaining stable for many years, national rates of gonorrhea increased slightly in recent years, and the incidence of gonorrhea remains exception­ally high among teenagers and young adults, especially in lower-socioeconomic ethnic- minority communities (Bolan et al., 2012; Bradley et al., 2012).

The gonococcus bacterium thrives in the warm mucous membrane tissues of the geni­tals, anus, and throat. Its mode of transmission is by sexual contact—penile-vaginal, oral-genital, oral-anal, or genital-anal.