Background: Trichomonas vaginalis is a common pathogen that is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and may serve as a cofactor in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission.
Goal: To define the epidemiology of trichomoniasis in a population of newly incarcerated pregnant women in New York City.
Study design: Prospective study of 213 pregnant prisoners attending prenatal clinic. Patients participated in an interview regarding sexual and drug-related behaviors, and underwent direct culture for T. vaginalis in addition to routine testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
Results: The prevalence of trichomoniasis was 46.9%. On univariate analysis, there was a significant association between trichomoniasis and older age, crack use, prostitution, known HIV infection, and positive serological test for syphilis. Multivariate analysis showed a significant association of trichomoniasis with crack use and positive serological test for syphilis.
Conclusion: Trichomoniasis is highly prevalent in pregnant prisoners in New York City. The extent of disease observed may justify a formal program of testing and treatment and emphasizes the urgent need for harm reduction education and expanded HIV counseling and testing services in this high-risk population.