Sex Transm Infect 80:12-17 doi:10.1136/sti.2003.004093
  • Tropical medicine

Genital manifestations of tropical diseases

  1. J Richens
  1. Correspondence to:
 J Richens
 Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, University College London, The Mortimer Market Centre, Mortimer Market, London WC1E 6AU, UK;
  • Accepted 25 July 2003


Genital symptoms in tropical countries and among returned travellers can arise from a variety of bacterial, protozoal, and helminthic infections which are not usually sexually transmitted. The symptoms may mimic classic sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by producing ulceration (for example, amoebiasis, leishmaniasis), wart-like lesions (schistosomiasis), or lesions of the upper genital tract (epididymo-orchitis caused by tuberculosis, leprosy, and brucellosis; salpingitis as a result of tuberculosis, amoebiasis, and schistosomiasis). A variety of other genital symptoms less suggestive of STI are also seen in tropical countries. These include hydrocele (seen with filariasis), which can be no less stigmatising than STI, haemospermia (seen with schistosomiasis), and hypogonadism (which may occur in lepromatous leprosy). This article deals in turn with genital manifestations of filariasis, schistosomiasis, amoebiasis, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis and leprosy and gives clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment.