Gonorrhoea among men

Export Indicator

Rate of laboratory-diagnosed gonorrhoea among men in countries with laboratory capacity for diagnosis
What it measures

Progress in reducing the number of men engaging in unprotected sex.


Infection with an acute bacterial sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhoea is a marker of unprotected sexual intercourse and facilitates HIV transmission and acquisition. Surveillance for gonorrhoea therefore contributes to second-generation HIV surveillance by providing early warning of the epidemic potential of HIV from sexual transmission and ongoing high-risk sexual activity that may require more aggressive programme interventions to reduce risk. Further, untreated gonorrhoea can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, blindness and disseminated disease. Increasing resistance to currently recommended treatment options may render this infection untreatable.


Number of men reported with laboratory-diagnosed gonorrhoea in the past 12 months


Number of men 15 years and older



Method of measurement

Routine health information systems



Strengths and weaknesses

Although WHO has provided a global case definition, the actual case definition may vary between and within countries. Further, diagnostic capacity may vary between and within countries. Although this indicator may be underreported, in the absence of changes in case definition or major changes in screening practices, these data can generally be used for following trends over time within a country.

Further information

Countries reporting on gonorrhoea should communicate the extent to which the data are representative of the national population. Data on gonorrhoea among women, although useful for monitoring purposes at the local and national levels, are not requested at the global level because most women infected with Neisseria gonorrhoeae are asymptomatic, and sensitive diagnostic tests for gonorrhoea among women are not widely available in low- and middle-income countries. Data on gonorrhoea among women are therefore too dependent on diagnostic resources and screening practices to be monitored appropriately at the global level. If a country cannot report on the denominator, WHO will use the denominator from the United Nations Population Division.

Strategies and laboratory methods for strengthening surveillance of sexually transmitted infection 2012. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2012 (http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/9789241504478/en).