A new survey, commissioned by the American Sexual Health Association, has found that many people don't know much about a very common sexually transmitted disease - trichomoniasis.
The poll of 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 50 revealed that only one out of every five women know about trichomoniasis, also known as trich.
"Trich is the forgotten STD - few are aware, and few know it is easy to get tested and treated," ASHA president Lynn Barclay said, according to UPI News.
Trich is the most common STD that can be cured in the U.S. According to the news source, although it is perceived as an uncommon STD, it infects more than 7 million Americans each year. That's more than syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea combined.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trich is caused by an infection with a protozoan parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. It is contracted through sexual activity with someone who has the parasite.
Although symptoms of the disease vary, most women and men who have the parasite cannot tell they are infected. In fact, as many as 70 percent of infected individuals do not have any signs or symptoms of the STD.
Among women, common symptoms include itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination and a thin discharge with an unusual smell. In men, signs of trich include itching or irritation inside the penis, burning after urination or ejaculation and discharge from the penis. Infected people of both genders may also experience discomfort while engaging in sexual activity.
As is the case with other STDs, even people without symptoms can pass trich along to sexual partners.
Diagnosis is made by a medical professional through a laboratory test. The good news is that trich can be cured with a single course of an oral antibiotic.