Results from a survey commissioned by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) on sexually transmitted infections and diseases were released today. The most common curable infection was recognized by only 22 percent of women surveyed. Trichomoniasis was also perceived by those familiar to be the least common STI. According to ASHA, there were more new cases of Trichomoniasis annually in the US, between seven and eight million, than syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea combined.
"Trich is the forgotten STI – few are aware, and few know it is easy to get tested and treated," said ASHA President and CEO Lynn B Barclay. "Yet trich poses risks to a woman's health, many of which can be prevented with a simple, easy and painless test and cured with a dose of antibiotics."
Trich is a parasite that is passed on during sex. Not everyone develops symptoms, which include itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or a thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish in women. The infection can also make sex unpleasant.
The recommendation by the CDC is any sexually active woman should seek treatment for vaginal discharge and be tested for trich. The shocking finding in the survey showed 65 percent of women would not seek medical attention if they experienced unusual symptoms, instead waiting to see if the symptoms go away or treating themselves with over-the-counter medicine. The test is simple and the treatment is antibiotics specifically for the infection.
The biggest danger is to unborn babies. Pregnant women with untreated trich. are more likely to deliver premature babies or babies with low birth weight. This STI also increases the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.
Men and women can contract the STI and should be tested. Only about 30 percent of people with trich. show symptoms, meaning they could be infected and not be aware.
There are no known natural methods to prevent or treat this sexually transmitted infection. The proper use of latex condoms can reduce, but not eliminate, the possibility of transmitting STI and STD.