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Sex Transm Infect 79:263 doi:10.1136/sti.79.3.263
  • Letter

Was the Papanicolaou smear responsible for the decline of Trichomonas vaginalis?

  1. F J Bowden
  1. Australian National University and Canberra Sexual Health Centre, PO Box 11, Woden ACT, Australia 2605; frank.bowden@act.gov.au

      There has been a dramatic decline in the prevalence of trichomoniasis in Australia over the past 30 years. In 1979, 17.8% of women attending a Sydney STI clinic had Trichomonas vaginalis infection.1 By 1998 less than 1% of non-Indigenous women presenting to family planning and STI clinics in another jurisdiction were diagnosed with the condition2 and most Australian urban pathology laboratories do not diagnose a case from one year to the next. Similar observations have been reported elsewhere: the rate of detection of trichomoniasis in Papanicolaou (Pap) smears in Denmark fell from 19% in 1967 to <2% in 1997, …