Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - A recent survey by the American Sexual Health Association revealed a troubling lack of information about a potentially serious but readily curable condition.

Trichomoniasis (trich) is the most common, curable, sexually transmitted disease (STD), yet only one in five women are familiar with it. Women surveyed perceive trich as the least common STD, when in reality there are more new cases of trich annually in the U.S. than gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia combined; an estimated 7 to 8 million new cases each year.

Trich is a parasite that is passed on during sex. Infection is more common in women, with the highest number of cases seen in those between ages 16 and 35.

Only about 30 percent of people with trich develop any symptoms, which in women can include itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination or a thin discharge with an unusual smell. Trich can also make sex unpleasant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that any sexually active woman seeking care for vaginal discharge should be tested for trich. Yet 65 percent of women surveyed would not seek medical attention if they experienced unusual symptoms, instead waiting to see if the symptoms go away or treating themselves with over-the-counter medicine, often thinking it a mere yeast infection.

Left untreated, trich can mean preterm or low-birth-weight babies and a greater susceptibility to HIV.

A Solution

The not-for-profit American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) recommends that women talk with their health care providers about trich testing, as the infection can last indefinitely and a person can be infected before meeting his or her current partner.

Trich is curable with just one dose of antibiotics but an estimated one in five are reinfected within three months of treatment.

The testing itself is simple, easy and painless. One of the newest tests lets a health care provider check for trich, chlamydia and gonorrhea using the same sample.

What Should Women Do?

• Talk to your health care provider about trich.

• Ask to be tested for trich when tested for chlamydia.

• Get tested before getting pregnant.

• Get tested if you are pregnant.

• Get tested if you have HIV.