Purpose of review: Trichomoniasis, caused by the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis, is one of the oldest sexually transmitted infections. Since the advent of more accurate diagnostic tests, the epidemiology and consequences of infection with T. vaginalis can be described more precisely. This review will highlight new diagnostic methods, the epidemiology of trichomoniasis, and discuss the merits of improved screening for this pathogen in adolescent women.
Recent findings: Interest in trichomoniasis has renewed due to evidence that trichomoniasis is more common than gonorrhea in adolescent women, is often asymptomatic, may persist for several months, and may be confused with bacterial vaginosis. In addition, trichomoniasis is linked to pelvic inflammatory disease and can increase one's susceptibility to viruses such as herpes, human papillomavirus, andHIV.
Summary: Clinicians who use better diagnostic methods and offer more widespread testing will identify more infections and reduce the epidemic of this easily treated infection. Early diagnosis provides the opportunity to reduce transmission and potentially prevent future complications.