A number of protozoan diseases are frequently sexually transmitted, even though they do not infect the genital system. For example, giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis are intestinal diseases transmitted by the fecal-oral route in individuals who engage in oral-genital and -anal contact as part of sexual activity. By contrast, trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted protozoan disease that involves the genital system. ■ protozoa, p. 304 ■ cryptosporidiosis, p. 626
Trichomoniasis is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. It ranks third after bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis among the diseases that commonly cause vaginal symptoms. Infected men usually are asymptomatic carriers of the organism. An estimated 5 million Americans contract this STD each year. An African study indicated that trichomoniasis can cause a 2- to 3-fold increase in HIV transmission.
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