Considering treatment of male genital schistosomiasis as a tool for future HIV prevention: a systematic review

Abstract

Objectives

Male genital schistosomiasis (MGS) is a neglected manifestation of Schistosoma haematobium infection with ignored implications on reproductive health and a differential diagnosis to sexually transmitted infections in endemic regions. MGS may have associations with HIV transmission and acquisition, and treatment could be a neglected chance of HIV prevention. This review summarizes current knowledge on epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of MGS as a hypothesized risk factor for HIV transmission. Future research areas of global interest are suggested.

Methods

PubMed published literature was reviewed based on the MOOSE guidelines. All publications on MGS were included regardless of publication year and study design. Furthermore, all publications were searched for information on possible HIV association.

Results

The 40 identified publications related to MGS were dominated by case reports and observational studies. No randomized clinical trials have been conducted to date, and very scant information related to possible associations with HIV transmission was presented.

Conclusions

Clinical, randomized studies and epidemiological studies covering the possible association between MGS and HIV are urgently needed. Furthermore, field diagnostic tools should be developed and future mass treatment programs should include adults to reduce morbidity and prevent HIV acquisition.

Systematic review registration number

CRD42015016252.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Dr. Merete Storgaard for her critical advice in the drafting of this manuscript. We also thank Janelle Denton for her grammar editing. Funding was provided by Aarhus University, Denmark.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Chalotte Willemann Stecher.

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This review is part of the special issue “Driving the Best Science to Meet Global Health Challenges” edited on the occasion of the 9th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health 2015.

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Stecher, C.W., Kallestrup, P., Kjetland, E.F. et al. Considering treatment of male genital schistosomiasis as a tool for future HIV prevention: a systematic review. Int J Public Health 60, 839–848 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0714-7

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Keywords

  • Male
  • Genital
  • Schistosomiasis
  • HIV
  • MGS