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Trichomoniasis in teens: an update

Huppert, Jill S

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 371–378
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32832e0827
Adolescent and pediatric gynecology: Edited by Paula J. Adams Hillard

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.

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to Jill S. Huppert, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, ML 4000, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA Tel: +1 513 636 7042; fax: +1 513 636 8844; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.