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Infectious Diseases

Spread of Trichomonas

04/01/2003

Question:

Is there any other way other than sexual for trichomonas to be spread? Especially in the elderly.

Thank you,

Answer:

Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasite that causes vaginitis (vaginal irritation and discharge) in women and typically asymptomatic disease in men. There are ~ 3 million cases in men and women each year. The vast majority are transmitted sexually between people. Trichomoniasis is occasionally acquired through non-sexual means. The organism can live for several hours in a moist, non-human environment. Transmission via finger or other objects may be possible and outbreaks in institutions have been documented. It is thus possible to get trichomoniasis from someone else through non-sexual means though this is very unlikely. 

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati