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Open Access Open Badges Research article

The association between Lymphogranuloma venereum and HIV among men who have sex with men: systematic review and meta-analysis

Minttu M Rönn* and Helen Ward

Author Affiliations

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, Old Medical School, St. Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, Paddington, W2 1PG London, UK

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:70  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-70

Published: 18 March 2011



Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is an important re-emerging sexually transmitted infection which is reported to affect particularly HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). The aim of this study is to quantify the association between LGV and HIV in the context of the current emergence of LGV.


A systematic review was performed on the emergence of LGV among MSM since 2000. We report the prevalence of HIV infection from descriptive studies of MSM with LGV, and conduct a meta-analysis to produce a summary estimate of the association between LGV and HIV from case-control studies where cases were MSM with LGV and controls were MSM with rectal chlamydia caused by non-LGV serovars.


The prevalence of HIV among LGV cases ranges from 67% to 100% in 13 descriptive studies. There is a significant association between HIV and LGV (odds ratio 8.19, 95% CI 4.68-14.33).


HIV-positive MSM are disproportionately affected by LGV highlighting the importance of prevention efforts to be targeted to this group. Further research is needed to determine whether the association is due to biological or behavioural factors.