For many years, researchers have postulated that helminthic infections may increase susceptibility to HIV, and that immune activation may have contributed to the extensive spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. In the meantime, immunological studies have provided some evidence in support of this hypothesis, while cross-sectional clinical studies were able to further support the assumed association between HIV infection and selected helminthic co-infections. However, as many of the helminthic infections relevant to HIV-infected patients belong to the group of “neglected tropical diseases”, as defined by the World Health Organization, a certain lack of attention has inhibited progress in fully scaling up treatment and prevention efforts. In addition, despite the fact that the challenges of co-infections have preoccupied clinicians for over two decades, relevant research questions remain unanswered. The following review aims to provide a concise overview of associations between HIV and selected helminthic co-infections concerning aspects of HIV acquisition and transmission, clinical and immunological findings in co-infected individuals, as well as treatment and prevention efforts.
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