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Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Nov-Dec; 7(6): 927–932.
PMCID: PMC2631893
Trichomonas vaginalis, HIV, and African-Americans.
F. Sorvillo, L. Smith, P. Kerndt, and L. Ash
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, 90024, USA.
F. Sorvillo: fsorviill/at/ucla.edu
Abstract
Trichomonas vaginalis may be emerging as one of the most important cofactors in amplifying HIV transmission, particularly in African-American communities of the United States. In a person co-infected with HIV, the pathology induced by T. vaginalis infection can increase HIV shedding. Trichomonas infection may also act to expand the portal of entry for HIV in an HIV-negative person. Studies from Africa have suggested that T. vaginalis infection may increase the rate of HIV transmission by approximately twofold. Available data indicate that T. vaginalis is highly prevalent among African-Americans in major urban centers of the United States and is often the most common sexually transmitted infection in black women. Even if T. vaginalis increases the risk of HIV transmission by a small amount, this could translate into an important amplifying effect since Trichomonas is so common. Substantial HIV transmission may be attributable to T. vaginalis in African-American communities of the United States.
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