Trichomonas vaginalis is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease in women infected with human immunodeficiency virus

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 15;34(4):519-22. doi: 10.1086/338399. Epub 2002 Jan 7.


We assessed the association between the causative agents of vaginal discharge and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) among women attending a rural sexually transmitted disease clinic in South Africa; the role played by coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was studied. Vaginal and cervical specimens were obtained to detect Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and bacterial vaginosis. HIV-1 infection was established by use of serum antibody tests. A total of 696 women with vaginal discharge were recruited, 119 of whom had clinical PID. Patients with trichomoniasis had a significantly higher risk of PID than did women without trichomoniasis (P=.03). PID was not associated with any of the other pathogens. When the patients were stratified according to HIV-1 status, the risk of PID in HIV-1-infected patients with T. vaginalis increased significantly (P=.002); no association was found in patients without HIV-1. T. vaginalis infection of the lower genital tract is associated with a clinical diagnosis of PID in HIV-1-infected women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / parasitology
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / complications
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / parasitology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / parasitology
  • Trichomonas Infections / complications*
  • Trichomonas Infections / parasitology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis*