Epidemiology of undiagnosed trichomoniasis in a probability sample of urban young adults

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 13;9(3):e90548. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090548. eCollection 2014.


T. vaginalis infection (trichomoniasis) is the most common curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. It is associated with increased HIV risk and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Trichomoniasis surveillance data do not exist for either national or local populations. The Monitoring STIs Survey Program (MSSP) collected survey data and specimens which were tested using nucleic acid amplification tests to monitor trichomoniasis and other STIs in 2006-09 among a probability sample of young adults (N = 2,936) in Baltimore, Maryland--an urban area with high rates of reported STIs. The estimated prevalence of trichomoniasis was 7.5% (95% CI 6.3, 9.1) in the overall population and 16.1% (95% CI 13.0, 19.8) among Black women. The overwhelming majority of infected men (98.5%) and women (73.3%) were asymptomatic. Infections were more common in both women (OR = 3.6, 95% CI 1.6, 8.2) and men (OR = 9.0, 95% CI 1.8, 44.3) with concurrent chlamydial infection. Trichomoniasis did not vary significantly by age for either men or women. Women with two or more partners in the past year and women with a history of personal or partner incarceration were more likely to have an infection. Overall, these results suggest that routine T vaginalis screening in populations at elevated risk of infection should be considered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Black or African American
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Telephone
  • Trichomonas Infections / diagnosis*
  • Trichomonas Infections / epidemiology*
  • Trichomonas Infections / ethnology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Urban Population
  • Urinalysis
  • Young Adult