The STD You Don’t Know About

    A doctor talking to a coupleA sexually transmitted infection known as Trichomonas vaginalis is more common than experts believe, especially in women 45 and older, according to a new study, and African Americans are most likely to be infected.

    Overall, 20.2% of African Americans and 5.7% of whites were infected in a recent study. Women, when they go for their yearly checkups, should ask their doctors to screen for this organism. The screening should be routine for all sexually active women, whatever their age. The cases of the disease should also be reportable to public health authorities, just like other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

    Who Gets Trichomonas?

    Studies showed that overall, 8.7% of the women tested positive for trichomonas.  Earlier studies had found a rate of less than 4%. The rates of trichomonas were higher than those for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Overall, 6.7% of the women tested positive for chlamydia and 1.7% for gonorrhea.

    When the researchers looked at the age ranges and infection with trichomonas, they found that:

    • 13% of women in their 50s were infected
    • 11.3% of women in their 40s were infected
    • 7.9% of women in their 30s were infected
    • 8.3% of women in their 20s were infected

    Symptoms of Trichomonas

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