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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Antihelminthics in helminth‐endemic areas: effects on HIV disease progression

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (84th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

Mentioned by

1 policy source
8 X users
3 Facebook pages
3 Wikipedia pages


28 Dimensions

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297 Mendeley
Antihelminthics in helminth‐endemic areas: effects on HIV disease progression
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006419.pub4
Pubmed ID

Arianna Rubin Means, Paul Burns, David Sinclair, Judd L Walson


Helminth infections, such as soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and lymphatic filariasis, are prevalent in many countries where human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is also common. There is some evidence from observational studies that HIV and helminth co-infection may be associated with higher viral load and lower CD4+ cell counts. Treatment of helminth infections with antihelminthics (deworming drugs) may have benefits for people living with HIV beyond simply clearance of worm infections.This is an update of a Cochrane Review published in 2009 and we have expanded it to include outcomes of anaemia and adverse events. To evaluate the effects of deworming drugs (antihelminthic therapy) on markers of HIV disease progression, anaemia, and adverse events in children and adults. In this review update, we searched online for published and unpublished studies in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICRTP), ClinicalTrials.gov, and the WHO Global Health Library up to 29 September 2015. We also searched databases listing conference abstracts, scanned reference lists of articles, and contacted the authors of included studies. We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared antihelminthic drugs with placebo or no intervention in HIV-positive people. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed trials for eligibility and risk of bias. The primary outcomes were changes in HIV viral load and CD4+ cell count, and secondary outcomes were anaemia, iron deficiency, adverse events, and mortality events. We compared the effects of deworming using mean differences, risk ratios (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We assessed the quality of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Eight trials met the inclusion criteria of this review, enrolling a total of 1612 participants. Three trials evaluated the effect of providing antihelminthics to all adults with HIV without knowledge of their helminth infection status, and five trials evaluated the effects of providing deworming drugs to HIV-positive individuals with confirmed helminth infections. Seven trials were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and one in Thailand. Antihelminthics for people with unknown helminth infection statusProviding antihelminthics (albendazole and praziquantel together or separately) to HIV-positive adults with unknown helminth infection status may have a small suppressive effect on mean viral load at six weeks but the 95% CI includes the possibility of no effect (difference in mean change -0.14 log10 viral RNA/mL, 95% CI -0.35 to 0.07, P = 0.19; one trial, 166 participants, low quality evidence).Repeated dosing with deworming drugs over two years (albendazole every three months plus annual praziquantel), probably has little or no effect on mean viral load (difference in mean change 0.01 log10 viral RNA, 95% CI: -0.03 to -0.05; one trial, 917 participants, moderate quality evidence), and little or no effect on mean CD4+ count (difference in mean change 2.60 CD4+ cells/µL, 95% CI -10.15 to 15.35; P = 0.7; one trial, 917 participants, low quality evidence). Antihelminthics for people with confirmed helminth infectionsTreating confirmed helminth infections in HIV-positive adults may have a small suppressive effect on mean viral load at six to 12 weeks following deworming (difference in mean change -0.13 log10 viral RNA, 95% CI -0.26 to -0.00; P = 0.04; four trials, 445 participants, low quality evidence). However, this finding is strongly influenced by a single study of praziquantel treatment for schistosomiasis. There may also be a small favourable effect on mean CD4+ cell count at 12 weeks after deworming in HIV-positive populations with confirmed helminth infections (difference in mean change 37.86 CD4+ cells/µL, 95% CI 7.36 to 68.35; P = 0.01; three trials, 358 participants, low quality evidence). Adverse events and mortality There is no indication that antihelminthic drugs impart additional risks in HIV-positive populations. However, adverse events were not well reported (very low quality evidence) and trials were underpowered to evaluate effects on mortality (low quality evidence). There is low quality evidence that treating confirmed helminth infections in HIV-positive adults may have small, short-term favourable effects on markers of HIV disease progression. Further studies are required to confirm this finding. Current evidence suggests that deworming with antihelminthics is not harmful, and this is reassuring for the routine treatment of confirmed or suspected helminth infections in people living with HIV in co-endemic areas.Further long-term studies are required to make confident conclusions regarding the impact of presumptively deworming all HIV-positive individuals irrespective of helminth infection status, as the only long-term trial to date did not demonstrate an effect.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 297 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Zimbabwe 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 295 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 46 15%
Student > Bachelor 34 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 32 11%
Researcher 30 10%
Other 15 5%
Other 52 18%
Unknown 88 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 78 26%
Nursing and Health Professions 29 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 18 6%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 12 4%
Immunology and Microbiology 9 3%
Other 46 15%
Unknown 105 35%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 April 2022.
All research outputs
of 25,838,141 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,141 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 316,355 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 283 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,838,141 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 87th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,141 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.2. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 54% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 316,355 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 283 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.