SAN ANTONIO, Texas, April 02, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- During National Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month this April, Mission Pharmacal is urging increased awareness of, and testing for, trichomoniasis (also known as "trich"), the most common curable STD in the United States. Awareness of the condition remains low, despite the fact that trich affects an estimated 7.4 million men and women each year in the United States, compared with 3 million cases of chlamydia and 700,000 cases of gonorrhea annually.
If left untreated, trich can lead to more serious health problems in both men and women, including increasing the likelihood of HIV acquisition and transmission. In women, untreated trich may contribute to an increased risk of infertility, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm birth and postoperative infection. The consequences of untreated trich in men include decreased sperm count and movement, increased risk of infertility, and chronic pain in the prostate or pelvic region.
Because trich is generally asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic, people often don't know they are infected. This lack of awareness often leads to a delay in seeking treatment, thereby increasing the likelihood that the untreated infection will be passed on to others. A recent study of trich- infected women found that more than 71 percent of their male partners were also infected, although most of the men did not show symptoms (1).
"Despite its prevalence and the consequences of leaving it
untreated, routine testing is not being conducted for
trichomoniasis," stated Dr. Jane Schwebke, professor of infectious
diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Because
patients may not experience symptoms when infected, healthcare
providers need to be vigilant about testing sexually active
patients, and patients