Factors associated with the prevalence and incidence of Trichomonas vaginalis infection among African American women in New York city who use drugs

J Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 15;197(4):503-9. doi: 10.1086/526497.


Background: Trichomoniasis vaginalis, the most prevalent nonviral sexually transmitted infection, is associated with negative reproductive outcomes and increased HIV transmission and may be overrepresented among African Americans.

Methods: A total of 135 African American women who used drugs were screened for Trichomonas vaginalis on > or =2 occasions between March 2003 and August 2005. Women were administered a structured questionnaire in a community-based research center, underwent serological testing for human immunodeficiency virus and herpes simplex virus type 2, and were screened for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis.

Results: Fifty-one women (38%) screened positive for T. vaginalis at baseline. Twenty-nine (31%) of 95 women with negative results of baseline tests became infected, for an incidence of 35.1 cases per 100 person-years at risk (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.5-49.0). Prevalent infection was associated with drug use in the past 30 days, and incident infection was associated with sexual behavior in the past 30 days, namely having >1 male sex partner. Women who reported having >1 partner were 4 times as likely as women with fewer partners to acquire T. vaginalis (hazard ratio, 4.3; 95% CI, 2.0-9.4).

Conclusion: T. vaginalis may be endemic in this community of African American women. A control strategy that includes T. vaginalis screening in nonclinical settings and rapid point-of-care testing could contribute to the disruption of transmission of this pathogen.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Animals
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / ethnology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Seropositivity / parasitology
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity*
  • Herpes Genitalis / epidemiology
  • Herpes Genitalis / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / complications*
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / epidemiology
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / ethnology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / pathogenicity*