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By Ayoade Avworo, MSN, FNP-BC

What if I told you there was a very common sexually transmitted disease or STD that affects 3.7 million people, yet 70% of the people infected don’t even know they have it? Pretty staggering, isn’t it?

Trichomoniasis (or “trich) is a considered “the most common curable STD,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. Both men and women can get the disease, but it’s more common in women than men and older women are more likely than younger to have it.

Trich is a parasite that is passed during sex. In a woman, the lower genital tract is often infected; in men inside of the penis is infected. The parasite is usually transmitted from vagina to penis or vice versa, but can also be transmitted vagina to vagina or to other body parts such as the mouth, hands and anus.

Only about 30% of people infected with trich will have symptoms and it’s unclear why some can develop symptoms and some do not. Infected people without symptoms can pass the infection on to others.

Trich Signs & Symptoms

  • From mild irritation to severe inflammation
  • Some develop 5-28 days afterwards, but can be much later
  • Symptoms may come and go
  • Women may notice itching, burning, redness or soreness of genitals, pain during urination or a thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish or greenish
  • Trich can make sex uncomfortable

Trich Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Without treatment, the infection can last months or years
  • Only a check and lab test from a healthcare provider can diagnose trichomoniasis
  • Trich can be cured with a single dose of prescription antiobiotic pills
  • About 1 in 5 people get re-infected within 3 months of treatment

Trich prevention

Latex condoms reduce the risk

Ayoade Avworo is a board-certified family nurse practitioner at Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc., a San Antonio-based clinical research facility. For more information on enrolling studies, visit SAresearch.com or call 210-949-0122.

CTT is currently enrolling volunteers to see if a new lab tests are able to accurately screen for STDs.