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Trichomonas vaginalis screening and prevention in order to impact the HIV pandemic: Isn’t it time we take this infection seriously?

DOI: 10.4081/idr.2011.e4

Keywords: Trichomonas vaginalis , Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) , HIV prevention , sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

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Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is the second most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. It is associated with significant morbidity in women: pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), concurrent vaginitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), post-operative infection, and pregnancy complications. TV infection has been implicated in HIV acquisition and transmission in men and women. There are multiple mechanisms to explain this association. TV is not routinely screened for in asymptomatic patients; however, infected individuals are most often asymptomatic. Due to the association with the spread of HIV infection, screening should not be limited to symptomatic patients or those seeking treatment for STIs. There are a variety of tests available to detect TV. Treatment of TV has demonstrated lower rates of HIV acquisition in at risk women. In HIV positive men and women, treatment decreases the amount of genital HIV shedding and subsequent infectivity. Initiation of an effective TV screening and treatment program in HIV positive and HIV susceptible populations may limit further transmission of HIV


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