Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the protozoan trichomonas vaginalis.  It can present without symptoms or with foul smelling discharge, irritation of the vagina in females and urethra in males.

Where does it occur?

It occurs worldwide.

How is it transmitted?

It is transmitted by unprotected sexual intercourse with infected people.

Is it contagious from person to person?

YES, it is.

What is the risk for travelers?

The risk is high for those participating in unsafe sexual practices.

How soon after exposure will one develop symptoms?

Symptoms develop on average within 7 days, but can vary from 4-20 days. Many people are symptom free carriers for years.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Many, especially men, can have the infection without symptoms. In men symptoms when present are usually painful urination and a small grayish discharge. Females may have a foul smelling discharge that is yellow-green and a swollen ‘strawberry’ red cervix.

Are there any lab tests to diagnose the illness?

The organism can be seen by microscopic examination of secretions.

Is there any treatment?

Metronidazole, tinidazole and ornidazole are all effective.

What preventive measures can be taken?

The best preventive measures are abstinence while traveling or if impractical, practicing “safe sex”.

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