Review: Does HIV infection alter the incidence or pathology of Helicobacter pylori infection?

Frank Romanelli, Kelly M. Smith, Brian S. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort is a common complaint among patients infected with HIV. GI symptoms can be caused by a myriad of factors including but not limited to coinfections, antiretroviral therapy, medications for opportunistic infections, and nutritional status. Some researchers have hypothesized that Helicobacter pylori infection may be more common among HIV-infected patients as a result of immune suppression. An increased incidence of H. pylori infection would contribute to the prevalence of GI complaints in this population. Several epidemiologic studies have examined the relationship between H. pylori infection and HIV. While studies have generally reported conflicting results that may be related to the use of varied study designs, some identifiable patterns can be discerned. It does appear that the incidence of H. pylori infection is lower among patients with AIDS compared to matched HIV-infected and -uninfected controls. This review discusses the various epidemiologic trials that have been conducted in this area and describes the potential physiologic mechanisms to explain these findings. The clinical applicability of these studies as well as limitations are also discussed. A greater number of well-designed and controlled trials are needed before any definitive conclusions regarding these diseases can be made, until such time clinicians should be aware of the potential issues regarding H. pylori screening and management in the context of HIV. Research in this area might also provide information relating to HIV-associated GI changes and the role of these changes in HIV pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-919
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS Patient Care and STDs
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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