Well, yes, I confess: I got hooked.

The urologist diagnosed it immediately, considering the burning, redness, and yellowish discharge.

Burning, redness, and itching. As if that wasn’t enough, yellowish and purulent secretions came out right from there; tests showed it was leaving traces of Mycoplasma on your underwear. It happened to me when I was 27, during the last remnants of summer. In the morning, when I woke up, I started to feel pain in my lower abdomen. I always felt moist, always wet. It was terrifying because nothing like this had ever happened to me. So I turned to a doctor, who sent me to the hospital to take an STD swab Test. They also did a Gonorrhoea exam for confirmation.

I challenged the taboo and talked about it.

Here, the urologist specialist, after the visit, exclaimed: «But this is a very bland blennorrhagia. Yes, some call it gonorrhoea; others call it discharge: that STD. Anyway, nonsense. It was enough to take an antibiotic immediately.” The fact is that doctors, when they talk about testing for Mycoplasma Genitalia, usually lower their voices and ask in a subdued tone: but what have you done?

A veil of embarrassment and shame often falls over venereal diseases. We don’t talk about it; we talk about it too little. Even among friends, the topic is almost taboo, as if those affected by it had launched themselves into who knows what erotic adventures, bordering on the forbidden. But no. The good thing (or bad thing, depending on your point of view) is that I hadn’t done anything at all… I was single then and hadn’t hung out for a while. Despite this, since the specialist had recommended that I immediately notify my partners, I fell prey to guilt.

I called my ex. So, I tracked down a girl with whom I had happened to make love a few months earlier; I warned her, and, in response, she dismissed me with: «But what do you want? Look, I’m fine.”

She was a terrible fool.

It is also completely useless since, according to Mycoplasma Testing, the incubation period for that STD is a few days. Reading The Green Mile by Stephen King, I made peace with my conscience only a few years later. In the novel, the protagonist’s mother says gonorrhoea “can also spread by peeing against the wind”. I felt safe and forgiven, as if freed from a burden. Unburdened by the shame of reckless promiscuity. In this regard, I also remember an episode narrated by the writer Ian McEwan: two girls decide to take revenge against the man who had given them both gonorrhoea. They approach him with the promise of an erotic threesome and finally castrate him.

Healed with antibiotics: I recovered within a few days after therapy.

Fortunately, the discharge never returned. It was nothing serious, so much so that some doctors equated it to a cold, even though, thank goodness, it’s not that frequent.


He had gone to Thailand looking for adventure. In the Southeast Asian country, he had had several sexual relationships. In the end, he returned to Treviso with a disseminated gonococcus infection. He needed Mycoplasma Testing and a string of other exams. For example, Gonococcus is a very rare form of STD that can spread through unprotected intercourse. It affects the blood and causes skin lesions and damage to the joints. This is what happened to a 45-year-old Italian who, as soon as he returned to the Marche, immediately turned to Ca’ Foncello. The Infectious Diseases unit was following him, directed by Pier Giorgio Scotton.


«We identified the germ through a sample of fluid from the knee and then started treatment with a combination of antibiotics to prevent the appearance of resistance; the head doctor takes stock of the gonococcus, which can also be localised remotely, i.e. in other parts of the body, spreading precisely in the blood and joints.” «The biggest problem is that the germ is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, warns Scotton. Consequently, antibiotic treatment is also becoming increasingly difficult and complex». Every year, there are around a hundred people who turn to the Treviso hospital for STD PCR tests, including syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, Mycoplasma genitalium and so on.

The average is two cases per week. There is no shortage of serious gonococcus and Mycoplasma complications. In 2019, in particular, Ca’ Foncello dealt with the cases of three young women who risked no longer being able to have children due to an untreated genital infection that even caused peritonitis. «They underwent surgery for pelvic peritonitis, which started from gonococcus, confirms the specialist. In addition to infections, can develop complications that cause sterility and, more rarely, localisation in other body parts».


People affected by STDs are often ashamed. And so they don’t go to the hospital right away. As a result, we find ourselves treating diseases that have already progressed with all the associated difficulties. This is where Scotton’s dream of being able to set up a clinic in Treviso, to be operated in the afternoons, where people who suspect they have contracted an STD can do all the necessary tests anonymously, free of charge and quickly.

Today, the doctor concludes that many patients don’t know what to do and where to go. I hope that a specific Mycoplasma clinic test can be started online. Until a few years ago, everyone needed to be tested for syphilis. Now, everyone should be tested for Hepatitis C to discover unknown cases and start them on treatment, which gives excellent results, and also for HIV. This is not a controlled problem. Indeed, it is impossible to make it decline. In Treviso, we have around seventy new patients a year. Unlike what one might think, circulation continues unabated.”