Trichomoniasis is focus of new Internet site

Take a look at www.trichomoniasis.net, the first comprehensive web site to focus on the sexually transmitted disease (STD) trichomoniasis.

The new site provides an overview of the STD, discussion of its prevalence and increased health risks, a detailed description of its signs and symptoms, and current methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Caused by the single-celled trichomonad parasite, signs of trichomoniasis in women can include a yellow, gray, or green frothy vaginal discharge. In many cases, it is accompanied by a foul odor. Burning, itching, soreness, and redness also are often present. Urination and intercourse may be painful, and the signs and symptoms may worsen during menstruation. Trichomoniasis is frequently asymptomatic in men, who may unknowingly transmit the infection to their sexual partners. When symptoms are present in men, they may consist of urethral discharge and irritation.

The site is sponsored by Presutti Laboratories of Palatine, IL, manufacturers of Tindamax (tinidazole), which is approved for treatment of the bacterial STD. Full prescribing information for Tindamax can be found at www.Tindamax.com.

NIH panel wants menopause demedicalized’

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would not recommend the use of any bioidentical or natural hormones for treating menopausal symptoms. The panel says there are scant data on the benefits and adverse effects of these compounds.

"The panel could not endorse alternatives because of scant data, but we should not accept this statement," says Joseph L. DeStefano, head of women’s health care at the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. "Women and physicians should be writing to NIH and our political leaders for NIH to begin studies to provide us with this data. After all, it took more than 50 years to obtain the accurate and meaningful data on hormone therapy."

In its report, the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms says that many women go through menopause without being disabled by symptoms. Therefore, they say that period of life should not be considered a disease. Women and their health care providers have a tendency to "medicalize" menopause, the panel says. This can lead to overuse of treatment approaches that are known to carry serious risks or whose safety is as yet unclear.

"There is great need to develop and disseminate information that emphasizes menopause as a normal, healthy phase of women’s lives and promotes its demedicalization," the panel says in the conclusion of its report.

For more information about the panel’s conclusions, go to www.consensus.nih.gov.

Need STD information? Check ASHA web site

Looking for current information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Check out www.ashastd.org, the newly redesigned web site for the American Social Health Association (ASHA).

ASHA, a Research Triangle Park-based nonprofit organization, offers information on all STDs, as well as patient information resources. By clicking on "Publications," "Organizations," then "Easy-Read Series Brochures," providers can review a list of titles available for order, including "Herpes — What You Should Know" and "Playing It Safe: The Right Way to Use A Condom," both written at a sixth-grade reading level.

The site also offers ordering information for Spanish STD brochures.