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Trichomonas vaginalis Prevalence Increases With Remoteness in Rural and Remote New South Wales, Australia

Ryder, Nathan MBBS, MPH&TM*; Woods, Helen BSocSc; McKay, Kate CertIVAHW; Giddings, Nicolla DipAppSc; Lenton, Jo-ann; Little, Christine BSc; Jeoffreys, Neisha PhD; McNulty, Anna M. MMed§¶

doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31826ae875
Original Study

Background Trichomonas has been reported to be rare in Australia’s major cities while remaining very common in some extremely remote Aboriginal communities. This study examined the Trichomonas prevalence and relationship to remoteness among patients attending sexual health clinics in rural and remote areas of New South Wales, Australia.

Methods During the period 2009 to June 2010, all women attending sexual health clinics in the Western and Far Western Local Health Districts of New South Wales who agreed to sexually transmitted infection testing were offered Trichomonas testing using an in-house polymerase chain reaction test. Overall prevalence was calculated, and logistic regression was used to determine association with remoteness of residency.

Results Of the 506 women attending during the study period, 356 (70%) were tested. Thirty women (8.4%) tested positive to Trichomonas. Trichomonas infection was independently associated with increasing age, being symptomatic, never having had a previous Papanicolaou smear, and remote residency.

Conclusions The prevalence of Trichomonas was relatively high among women attending sexual health clinics in rural and remote western New South Wales. Trichomonas was more common among women living more remotely, which may reflect population-level health service use. Testing for Trichomonas should be considered for all women requesting testing for sexually transmitted infections in rural and remote Australia.

A study of women attending sexual health clinics in rural and remote New South Wales found a Trichomonas prevalence of 8.4%. Trichomonas was associated with remote residency.

From the *Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit, Department of Health, Northern Territory; †HIV and Related Programmes, Far Western and Western New South Wales Local Health Districts; ‡Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead; §Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney Hospital; and ¶School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Correspondence: Nathan Ryder, MBBS, MPH&TM, Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit, PO Box 40623, Casuarina NT 0800, Australia. E-mail:

Received for publication March 20, 2012, and accepted July 20, 2012.

© Copyright 2012 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association