Single dose of medication isn’t enough to eliminate trichomoniasis

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The State of STDs in the United States

A new study led by an infectious disease epidemiologist at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine could change the way doctors treat a common sexually transmitted disease.

Professor Patricia Kissinger and a team of researchers found the recommended single dose of medication isn’t enough to eliminate trichomoniasis, the most common curable STD, which can cause serious birth complications and make people more susceptible to HIV. Results of the research are published in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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STDs are infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. They’re really common, and lots of people who have them don’t have any symptoms. STDs can be dangerous, but the good news is that getting tested is no big deal, and most STDs are easy to treat.

A very common STD caused by a bacterial infection.

Often doesn’t have symptoms, but easy to treat once it’s diagnosed.

Genital Warts
Growths on the genital area and around the anus. Caused by certain types of HPV.

Gonorrhea
A common STD caused by a bacterial infection. Often doesn’t have symptoms, but easy to treat once it’s diagnosed.

Hepatitis B
A virus that can cause liver disease, which is spread through sex or sharing personal hygiene items like razors or toothbrushes.

Herpes
A common STD that infects your mouth and/or genitals. Causes blistery sores. There’s no cure, but symptoms are treatable.

HIV & AIDS
HIV is an infection that breaks down your immune system and can lead to AIDS. There’s no cure, but treatment can help you stay healthy.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
A super common STD. HPV is usually harmless and goes away by itself, but some types can lead to cancer.

Molluscum Contagiosum
An infection that causes small bumps on your skin. It goes away by itself and usually isn’t dangerous.

Pubic Lice
AKA “crabs.” Small parasites that attach to the skin and hair near your genitals. Easy to get rid of with treatment you can get at the drugstore.

Scabies
Scabies are tiny parasites that cause itching. Passed through skin-to-skin contact, usually during sex. Can be cured.

Syphilis
Syphilis is a common bacterial infection. It’s easily cured with medicine, but it can be dangerous if you don’t treat it.

Trichomoniasis (Trich)
“Trich” is a major cause of vaginitis. It’s very common and easily treated.

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Globally, an estimated 143 million new cases of trichomoniasis among women occur each year and most do not have symptoms, yet the infection is causing unseen problems.

The recommended treatment for more than three decades has been a single dose of the antibiotics metronidazole or tinidazole.

The researchers recruited more than 600 women for the randomized trial in New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; and Birmingham, Alabama.

Half the women took a single dose of metronidazole and the other half received treatment over seven days.

Kissinger and her team found the women who received multiple doses of the treatment were half as likely to still have the infection after taking all the medication compared to women who only took a single dose.

There about 3.7 million new cases of trichomoniasis each year in the United States,” Kissinger said.

“That means a lot of women have not been getting inadequate treatment for many decades.”

Trichomoniasis can cause preterm delivery in pregnant women and babies born to infected mothers are more likely to have low birth weight.

The parasite can also increase the risk of getting or spreading HIV.

Kissinger believes the CDC will change its treatment recommendations because of the results of this study.

“We need evidence-based interventions to improve health,” Kissinger says. “We can no longer do something because it’s what we’ve always done. I hope that this study will help to change the recommendations so that women can get the proper treatment for this common curable STD.”

More information: Lancet Infectious Diseases (2018). DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30423-7

Journal reference: Lancet Infectious Diseases search and more info website

Provided by: Tulane University search and more info

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