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Trichomonas vaginalis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfection Among Women Under Community Supervision: A Call for Expanded T. vaginalis Screening

Davis, Alissa PhD; Dasgupta, Anindita PhD; Goddard-Eckrich, Dawn MSS; El-Bassel, Nabila PhD

doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000503
Original Studies

Background: The United States has a large community supervision population, a growing number of whom are women. Trichomonas vaginalis infection is strongly associated with an increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition and transmission, particularly among women, but there is a paucity of research on HIV and T. vaginalis co-infection among women under community supervision.

Methods: This article examines the prevalence of T. vaginalis infection and T. vaginalis and HIV coinfection at baseline among women under community supervision in New York City. It also examines the 12-month outcomes of women treated for T. vaginalis. Women received biological tests for HIV and T. vaginalis at baseline and 12 months follow-up.

Results: Of the 333 women tested for sexually transmitted infections, 77 women (23.1%) tested positive for T. vaginalis at baseline and 44 (13.3%) were HIV positive. Human immunodeficiency virus–positive women had significantly higher rates of T. vaginalis infection than HIV-negative women (36.4% vs 21.3%, P ≤ 0.05). Sixteen women (4.8%) were coinfected with T. vaginalis and HIV. Of the 77 women who were positive for T. vaginalis infection at baseline, 58 (75.3%) received treatment by a health care provider. Of those who received treatment, 17 (29.3%) tested positive for T. vaginalis at the 12-month follow-up.

Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of T. vaginalis among this sample of women, particularly among HIV-positive women, and high levels of reinfection or persistent infection, screening for T. vaginalis among women under community supervision may have a substantial impact on reducing HIV acquisition and transmission among this high-risk population.

A study of women under community supervision found higher rates of T. vaginalis infection among HIV-positive women than among HIV-negative women.

From the *HIV Center, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Medical Center; and †Social Intervention Group, School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY

Acknowledgements: The authors appreciate the assistance of the Center for Court Innovation and the New York City Department of Probation for supporting the implementation of this study, and want to particularly thank the women who participated in this study.

This study was funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (grant R01DA025878). Dr. Davis is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 grant MH019139 and P30 grant MH043520) and Dr. Dasgupta is supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (T32 grant DA037801).

Conflict of interest: None declared.

Correspondence: Alissa Davis, PhD, HIV Center, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 15, New York, NY 10032. E-mail: ad3324@cumc.columbia.edu.

Received for publication May 1, 2016, and accepted June 13, 2016.

© Copyright 2016 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association