Africans in the UK more likely to get sexually transmitted infection

Women from ethnic minority living in the United Kingdom are more likely to get a sexually transmitted infection known as trichomonas vaginalis (TV).

Although trichomonas vaginalis is not often discussed, research into the largely unknown sexual infection was carried out by sexual health organisation PreventX.

Trichomonas vaginalis has no symptoms but if left untreated, it can increase the chances of getting HIV and can also cause pregnancy complications.

In women who were showing symptoms, 5.2% testing positive were from Black, Black British, Caribbean, or African backgrounds, compared to 3.4% from white backgrounds.

Women from ethnic minority backgrounds were also more likely to test positive when not displaying symptoms than white women.

TV is more common than gonorrhoea in the UK’s heterosexual population, says the study, which surveyed 8,676 women.

And it’s led to calls from sexual health experts for more high-quality testing for the infection.

It’s a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. Usually people get it after having sex without a condom. Up to half of those who are infected develop no symptoms, but for those who do, they usually show up about a month after the initial infection.

In women symptoms include:

  • vaginal discharge that’s different from normal
  • soreness or itching around the vagina
  • pain or discomfort during sex or peeing

In men symptoms include:

  • discharge from the penis
  • pain when peeing or ejaculating
  • soreness or swelling of the penis
  • It’s unlikely to go away without treatment and usually requires antibiotics.