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Trichomonas vaginalis infection in men who submit self-collected penile swabs after internet recruitment
  1. Charlotte A Gaydos,
  2. Mathilda R Barnes,
  3. Nicole Quinn,
  4. Mary Jett-Goheen,
  5. Yu-Hsiang Hsieh
  1. Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Charlotte A Gaydos, Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University, 855 North Wolfe Street, 530 Rangos Building, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; cgaydos{at}


Background Submission of self-collected penile samples collected at home could remove barriers that men face in getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Methods From December 2006 to July 2012, sexually active men aged ≥14 years were recruited by an educational internet program ( which offered free testing for Trichomonas vaginalis infection. Kits were ordered online and swabs were sent via US mail to the laboratory and tested by nucleic acid amplification tests. Demographics and sexual risk factors were accessed by questionnaires. Men called or were contacted to receive their results. Risk factors for trichomonas infection were determined by multivariate logistic regression

Results Of 4398 men requesting kits, 1699 (38.6%) returned swabs by mail (55.4% returned in 2012). Forty-one percent of men were aged <25 years, 43% were black subjects and 45% were white. The overall prevalence for trichomonas in the 1699 men was 3.7%; the highest prevalence by age group was for men aged 40–49 years (5.2%) and, by year, 216 men screened in 2008 had the highest prevalence (12.5%). Risk factors for 919 men whose risk information was collected by questionnaire (prevalence 6.0%) indicated that 9.6% had a concurrent chlamydia infection. Significantly associated risks factors included: black race (adjusted OR 2.67), residence in Illinois (OR 12.02), age 30–39 years (OR 6.63) and age >40 years (OR 5.31).

Conclusions A fairly high prevalence of trichomonas and sexual risk factors were demonstrated from internet recruitment of men. This method of engaging men to get screened for trichomonas may augment screening in STI clinics.

  • Diagnosis
  • Epidemiology (Clinical)
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Trichomonas
  • Screening

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