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1.  A Compositional Look at the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Immune Activation Parameters in HIV Infected Subjects 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(2):e1003829.
HIV progression is characterized by immune activation and microbial translocation. One factor that may be contributing to HIV progression could be a dysbiotic microbiome. We therefore hypothesized that the GI mucosal microbiome is altered in HIV patients and this alteration correlates with immune activation in HIV. 121 specimens were collected from 21 HIV positive and 22 control human subjects during colonoscopy. The composition of the lower gastrointestinal tract mucosal and luminal bacterial microbiome was characterized using 16S rDNA pyrosequencing and was correlated to clinical parameters as well as immune activation and circulating bacterial products in HIV patients on ART. The composition of the HIV microbiome was significantly different than that of controls; it was less diverse in the right colon and terminal ileum, and was characterized by loss of bacterial taxa that are typically considered commensals. In HIV samples, there was a gain of some pathogenic bacterial taxa. This is the first report characterizing the terminal ileal and colonic mucosal microbiome in HIV patients with next generation sequencing. Limitations include use of HIV-infected subjects on HAART therapy.
Author Summary
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection related illness progresses despite the control of the virus itself by medications that stop the replication of the virus. This happens because the immune system gets activated. While the causes for such activation of the immune system are not exactly known, immune activation in HIV infection may be occurring as a result of bacteria or their products in the digestive tract. This study looks at the types of bacteria that reside in the lower intestinal tract in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, using state of the art sequencing technology, that can simultaneously look at thousands of bacteria. We have found that the bacteria at the end of the small bowel (an area also called the terminal ileum), at the right and left sides of the large intestine and in the stool is different in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV patients harbor more bacteria that have been linked to other human diseases and have been previously described as harmful. This finding is new and could open up a new frontier of study that could now pave the way to gain a deeper understanding of how the HIV causes illness.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003829
PMCID: PMC3930561  PMID: 24586144
2.  Vitamin D insufficiency may impair CD4 recovery among Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants with advanced disease on HAART 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(4):573-578.
Background
Recent studies in HIV-infected men report an association between low vitamin D (25OH-D) and CD4 recovery on HAART. We sought to test this relationship in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Methods
We examined 204 HIV-infected women with advanced disease, who started HAART after enrollment in the WIHS. We measured vitamin D (25OH-D) levels about 6 months prior to HAART initiation. The relationship between CD4 recovery (defined as increases of ≥50, 100, and 200 cells at 6, 12, and 24 months) and exposure variables was examined using logistic regression models at 6, 12 and 24 months post-HAART initiation in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, and using multivariable longitudinal Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25OH-D levels at least 30 ng/ml.
Results
The majority were non-Hispanic black (60%) and had insufficient vitamin D levels (89%). In adjusted analyses, at 24 months after HAART, insufficient vitamin D level (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05–0.83) was associated with decreased odds of CD4 recovery. The undetectable viral load (OR 11.38, 95% CI 4.31–30.05) was associated with CD4 recovery. The multivariable GEE model found that average immune reconstitution attenuated significantly (P <0.01) over time among those with insufficient vitamin D levels compared with those with sufficient vitamin D levels.
Conclusion
Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with diminished late CD4 recovery after HAART initiation among US women living with advanced HIV. The mechanism of this association on late CD4 recovery may be late vitamin D-associated production of naive CD4 cells during immune reconstitution.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835b9ba1
PMCID: PMC3902982  PMID: 23095316
antiretroviral therapy; HIV; immune reconstitution; vitamin D; women
3.  Cause-Specific Life Expectancies After 35 Years of Age for Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome-Infected and Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome-Negative Individuals Followed Simultaneously in Long-term Cohort Studies, 1984–2008 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(2):116-125.
Parametric and semiparametric competing risks methods were used to estimate proportions, timing, and predictors of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related and non-AIDS-related mortality among individuals both positive and negative for the human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV) in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) from 1984 to 2008 and 1996 to 2008, respectively. Among HIV-positive MACS participants, the proportion of deaths unrelated to AIDS increased from 6% before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (before 1996) to 53% in the HAART era (P < 0.01); the median age of persons who died from non-AIDS-related causes after age 35 years increased from 49.0 to 66.0 years (P < 0.01). In both cohorts during the HAART era, median ages at time of non-AIDS-related death were younger for HIV-positive individuals than for comparable HIV-negative individuals (8.7 years younger in MACS (P < 0.01) and 7.6 years younger in WIHS (P < 0.01)). In a multivariate proportional cause-specific hazards model, unemployment (for non-AIDS death, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.8; for AIDS death, HR = 2.3), depression (for non-AIDS death, HR = 1.4; for AIDS death, HR = 1.4), and hepatitis B or C infection (for non-AIDS death, HR = 1.8, for AIDS death; HR = 1.4) were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with higher hazards of both non-AIDS and AIDS mortality among HIV-positive individuals in the HAART era, independent of study cohort. The results illuminate the changing face of mortality among the growing population infected with HIV.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws321
PMCID: PMC3590031  PMID: 23287403
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; antiretroviral therapy, highly active; cohort studies; competing risks; HIV; mixture model; mortality; proportional hazards models
4.  Effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy and its adherence on herpes zoster incidence: a longitudinal cohort study 
Background
Herpes zoster (HZ) is common among HIV-infected individuals, but the impacts of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HAART adherence on HZ risk have not been well studied.
Methods
The effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence were evaluated by comparing HIV-infected women on HAART (HAART use group) with the HIV-infected women remaining HAART naïve (HAART naïve group) in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). A 1:1 matching with propensity score for predicting HAART initiation was conducted to balance background covariates at index visit, including HIV disease stage. Kaplan-Meier method was used to compare the risk of HZ development between the matched pairs. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence.
Results
Through propensity score matching, 389 pairs of participants were identified and they contributed 3,909 person years after matching. The background covariates were similar between the matched pairs at the index visit. The participants had a mean age around 39 years old, and about 61% of them were Black and 22% were Latina. No significant difference in HZ risk was observed between the HAART use group and the HAART naïve group during the first year of follow-up in any analyses. In the univariate analysis, the HAART use group had marginally lower HZ risk (Hazard Ratio (HR): 0.72; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.48-1.1) over the entire follow-up period. However, women with a HAART adherence level of ≥95% had significantly lower HZ risk (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.94) compared to the HAART naïve women. The association remained significant after adjusting for quality of life score and acyclovir use, but it attenuated and was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for an intermediate variable, either CD4+ T cell counts or HIV viral load.
Conclusions
Among adult women, we observed a significant preventive effect of long-term HAART use on HZ incidence when a HAART adherence level of ≥95% was attained, and this effect was mediated through reduction of HIV viral load and improvement of CD4+ T cell counts.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-10-34
PMCID: PMC3904465  PMID: 24373482
HAART; Adherence; Herpes zoster; Incidence; Propensity score
5.  Lower Liver-Related Death in African American Women With HIV/HCV Co-Infection Compared to Caucasian and Hispanic Women 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2012;56(5):1699-1705.
Among individuals with and without concurrent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), racial/ethnic differences in the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been described. African-Americans have lower spontaneous HCV clearance than Caucasians, yet slower rates of liver fibrosis once chronically infected. It is not clear how these differences in the natural history of hepatitis C affect mortality, in either HIV positive or negative individuals. We conducted a cohort study of HIV/HCV co-infected women followed in the multicenter, NIH-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) to determine the association of self-reported race/ethnicity with all-cause and liver-related mortality. Survival analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards models. The eligible cohort (n=794) included 140 Caucasians, 159 Hispanics, and 495 African Americans. There were 438 deaths and 49 liver-related deaths during a median follow-up of 8.9 years and maximum follow-up of 16 years. African American co-infected women had significantly lower liver-related mortality compared to Caucasian (HR 0.41 95% CI 0.19–0.88, p=0.022) and Hispanic co-infected women (HR 0.38 95% CI 0.19–0.76, p=0.006). All-cause mortality was similar between racial/ethnic groups (HRs for all comparisons 0.82–1.03, logrank p=0.8).
Conclusions
African American co-infected women were much less likely to die from liver disease as compared to Caucasians and Hispanics, independent of other causes of death. Future studies are needed to investigate the reasons for this marked racial/ethnic discrepancy in liver-related mortality.
doi:10.1002/hep.25859
PMCID: PMC3440547  PMID: 22618868
race; ethnicity; viral hepatitis; mortality; gender
6.  Assessing mortality in women with hepatitis C virus and HIV using indirect markers of fibrosis 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(5):599-607.
Objective
Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. However, predictors of mortality are poorly defined and most studies have focused predominantly on co-infection in men. We evaluated whether two indirect markers of hepatic fibrosis, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 scores, were predictive of mortality in a well defined longitudinal cohort of HCV/HIV-co-infected women on HAART.
Methods
HCV/HIV-co-infected women on antiretroviral therapy enrolled in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a National Institutes of Health-funded prospective, multicenter, cohort study of women with and at risk for HIV infection were included. Using Cox regression analysis, associations between APRI and FIB-4 with all-cause mortality were assessed.
Results
Four hundred and fifty HCV/HIV-co-infected women, of whom 191 women died, had a median follow-up of 6.6 years and 5739 WIHS visits. Compared with women with low APRI or FIB-4 levels, severe fibrosis was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality {APRI: hazard ratio 2.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.87, 4.12]; FIB-4: hazard ratio 2.58 (95% CI 1.68, 3.95)}. Crude death rates per 1000 patient-years increased with increasing liver fibrosis: 34.8 for mild, 51.3 for moderate and 167.9 for severe fibrosis as measured by FIB-4. Importantly, both APRI and FIB-4 increased during the 5 years prior to death for all women: the slope of increase was greater for women dying a liver-related death compared with nonliver-related death.
Conclusion
Both APRI and FIB-4 are independently associated with all-cause mortality in HCV/HIV-co-infected women and may have clinical prognostic utility among women with HIV and HCV.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834fa121
PMCID: PMC3698040  PMID: 22156972
fibrosis markers; hepatitis C virus; HIV; longitudinal study; mortality
7.  Racial/Ethnic Differences in Spontaneous HCV Clearance in HIV Infected and Uninfected Women 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2012;58(5):1341-1348.
Background/Aims
Among individuals without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), African Americans have lower spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than Caucasians, and women have higher clearance than men. Few studies report racial/ethnic differences in acute HCV in HIV infected, or Hispanic women. We examined racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance in a population of HCV mono- and co-infected women.
Methods
We conducted a cross sectional study of HCV seropositive women (897 HIV infected and 168 HIV uninfected) followed in the US multicenter, NIH-funded Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), to determine the association of race/ethnicity with spontaneous HCV clearance, as defined by undetectable HCV RNA at study entry.
Results
Among HIV and HCV seropositive women, 18.7 % were HCV RNA negative, 60.9 % were African American, 19.3 % Hispanic and 17.7 % Caucasian. HIV infected African American women were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanic (OR 0.59, 95 % CI 0.38–0.93, p = 0.022) or Caucasian women (OR 0.57, 95 % CI 0.36–0.93, p = 0.023). Among HIV uninfected women, African Americans had less HCV clearance than Hispanics (OR 0.18, 95 % CI 0.07–0.48, p = 0.001) or Caucasians (OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.09–0.79, p = 0.017). There were no significant differences in HCV clearance between Hispanics and Caucasians, among either HIV infected (OR 0.97, 95 % CI 0.57–1.66, p = 0.91) or uninfected (OR 1.45, 95 % CI 0.56–3.8, p = 0.45) women.
Conclusions
African Americans were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanics or Caucasians, regardless of HIV status. No significant differences in spontaneous HCV clearance were observed between Caucasian and Hispanic women. Future studies incorporating IL28B genotype may further explain these observed racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance.
doi:10.1007/s10620-012-2486-8
PMCID: PMC3663918  PMID: 23179159
African American; Hispanic; Acute hepatitis C; Female
8.  The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(4):527-531.
Objective
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I stimulates the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), the primary source of extracellular matrix accumulation in liver fibrosis. In contrast, insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 3, the most abundant IGFBP in circulation, negatively modulates HSC mitogenesis. To investigate the role of the IGF axis in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease among high-risk patients, we prospectively evaluated HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
Design
A cohort investigation.
Methods
Total IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in baseline serum specimens obtained from 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects enrolled in the Women's Inter-agency HIV Study, a large multi-institutional cohort. The aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), a marker of liver fibrosis, was assessed annually.
Results
Normal APRI levels (< 1.0) at baseline were detected in 374 of the 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects tested, of whom 302 had complete liver function test data and were studied. IGF-I was positively associated [adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest and lowest quartiles (AORq4–q1), 5.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–29.1; Ptrend = 0.03], and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated (AORq4–q1, 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.76; Ptrend = 0.04), with subsequent (incident) detection of an elevated APRI level(> 1.5), after adjustment for the CD4 T-cell count, alcohol consumption, and other risk factors.
Conclusion
High IGF-I may be associated with increased risk and high IGFBP-3 with reduced risk of liver disease among HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3282f22cdf
PMCID: PMC3507535  PMID: 18301066
aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI; hepatitis C virus (HCV); HIV; IGFBP-3; IGF; liver disease
9.  Factors associated with hepatitis C viremia in a large cohort of HIV-infected and - uninfected women 
Background
Coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among HIV-infected women.
Objective
To further our understanding of the risk factors for HCV viremia and the predictors of HCV viral load among women.
Study design
We investigated sociodemographic, immunologic, and virologic factors associated with presence and level of HCV viremia among 882 HIV-infected and 167 HIV-uninfected HCV-seropositive women at entry into the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Results
Plasma HCV RNA was detected in 852 (81%) of these 1,049 women (range: 1.2–7.8 log10 copies/ml). HCV-viremic women were more likely to have an HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/ml (P =0.0004), have reported smoking (P =0.01), or to be Black (P =0.005). They were less likely to have current or resolved hepatitis B infection. HCV RNA levels were higher in women who were >35 years old, or HIV-infected. Current smoking and history of drug use (crack/freebase cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, or heroin) were each associated with both presence and level of viremia.
Conclusions
Substance abuse counseling aimed at eliminating ongoing use of illicit drugs and tobacco may reduce clinical progression, improve response to treatment, and decrease HCV transmission by lowering levels of HCV viremia in women.
doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2007.08.021
PMCID: PMC3493623  PMID: 18243785
Hepatitis C; Hepatitis C RNA levels; Hepatitis C viremia; HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfection
10.  LOWER LEVELS OF INTERLEUKIN-12 PRECEDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF TUBERCULOSIS AMONG HIV-INFECTED WOMEN 
Cytokine  2011;56(2):325-331.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the worldwide leading cause of death among HIV-infected individuals, accounting for more than half of AIDS-related deaths. A high risk of tuberculosis (TB) has been shown in early stages of the HIV disease, even in the presence of normal CD4+ cell counts. Moreover, the factors that determine protective immunity vs. susceptibility to M. tuberculosis cannot be fully explained by simple changes in IFNγ levels or a shift from Th1 to Th2 cytokines. This work investigated the relationship between cytokine expression profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and susceptibility to M. tuberculosis in ten HIV+ women who went on to develop TB. RNA transcripts for IL-4, IL-4δ2, IL-10, IL-12(p35), IL-13, IL-17A, IFNγ and TNFα were measured by real-time quantitative PCR in unstimulated or TB peptide antigen-stimulated PBMCs from ten HIV+ women with positive tuberculin skin tests (TST) and compared with HIV-seropositive and seronegative women without previous TB and negative TST. Stimulated PBMC cultures showed significantly lower expression of IL-12p35 (p=0.004) and IL-10 (p=0.026) in the HIV+TB+ group six to twelve months before onset of TB compared to HIV+TB− women. Unstimulated PBMC from HIV+TB+ women also had lower expression of Th2 cytokines [IL-4 (p=0.056) and IL-13 (p=0.050)] compared to HIV+TB− women. These results suggest that lower IL-12 production by PBMC in response to TB antigens and lower levels of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines by PBMC correlate with future development of TB in HIV-infected women and may be responsible for their increased susceptibility.
doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2011.08.018
PMCID: PMC3466167  PMID: 21880503
Interferon-γ(IFNγ); Interleukin-4 (IL-4); Interleukin-12 (IL-12); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Tuberculosis (TB)
11.  The Association of HIV Status with Bacterial Vaginosis and Vitamin D in the United States 
Journal of Women's Health  2011;20(10):1497-1503.
Abstract
Objective
To estimate the association between vitamin D deficiency and bacterial vaginosis (BV) among nonpregnant HIV-infected and uninfected women.
Methods
In a substudy of the Women's Interagency HIV Study, including women from Chicago and New York, the association between BV and vitamin D deficiency, demographics, and disease characteristics was tested using generalized estimating equations. Deficiency was defined as <20 ng/mL 25 (OH) vitamin D and insufficiency as >20 and ≤30 ng/mL. BV was defined by the Amsel criteria.
Results
Among 602 observations of nonpregnant women (480 HIV infected and 122 uninfected), BV was found in 19%. Vitamin D deficiency was found in 59.4%, and insufficiency was found in 24.4%. In multivariable analysis, black race was the most significant predictor of BV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.90, (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.52-13.8). Vitamin D deficiency was independently associated with BV among HIV-infected women (AOR 3.12, 95% CI 1.16-8.38) but not among HIV-uninfected women. There was a negative linear correlation between vitamin D concentration and prevalence of BV in HIV-infected women (r=−0.15, p=0.001).
Conclusions
Vitamin D deficiency was very common in this cohort and significantly associated with BV among HIV-infected women. These preliminary findings suggest that further epidemiologic and mechanistic exploration of the relationship between vitamin D and BV in HIV-infected women is warranted.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2010.2685
PMCID: PMC3233211  PMID: 21875343
12.  Risk Factors for Tuberculosis After Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in the United States and Canada: Implications for Tuberculosis Screening 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(6):893-901.
Background. Screening for tuberculosis prior to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation is not routinely performed in low-incidence settings. Identifying factors associated with developing tuberculosis after HAART initiation could focus screening efforts.
Methods. Sixteen cohorts in the United States and Canada contributed data on persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who initiated HAART December 1995–August 2009. Parametric survival models identified factors associated with tuberculosis occurrence.
Results. Of 37845 persons in the study, 145 were diagnosed with tuberculosis after HAART initiation. Tuberculosis risk was highest in the first 3 months of HAART (20 cases; 215 cases per 100000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 131–333 per 100000 person-years). In a multivariate Weibull proportional hazards model, baseline CD4+ lymphocyte count <200, black race, other nonwhite race, Hispanic ethnicity, and history of injection drug use were independently associated with tuberculosis risk. In addition, in a piece-wise Weibull model, increased baseline HIV-1 RNA was associated with increased tuberculosis risk in the first 3 months; male sex tended to be associated with increased risk.
Conclusions. Screening for active tuberculosis prior to HAART initiation should be targeted to persons with baseline CD4 <200 lymphocytes/mm3 or increased HIV-1 RNA, persons of nonwhite race or Hispanic ethnicity, history of injection drug use, and possibly male sex.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir421
PMCID: PMC3156918  PMID: 21849286
13.  Seroincidence of 2009 H1N1 infection in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women prior to vaccine availability 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(9):1229-1232.
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a unique opportunity to investigate differences in influenza infection using serology by HIV status. Using serial serum specimens collected from 1 April to 30 September 2009 and the prior 2 years from Women’s Interagency HIV study participants, there was no difference in serologic evidence of 2009 H1N1 infection among HIV-infected women with a CD4 cell count at least 350 cells/µl compared with HIV-uninfected women. Owing to evidence showing a greater risk of influenza-related complications, HIV-infected individuals should continue to be a priority group for vaccination.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283471cf2
PMCID: PMC3442364  PMID: 21505313
14.  Vitamin D deficiency in HIV-infected and un-infected women in the US 
Background
Vitamin D deficiency is of increasing concern in HIV-infected persons, because of its reported association with a number of negative health outcomes that are common in HIV. We undertook this study to determine the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency among a nationally representative cohort of middle-aged, ethnically diverse HIV-infected and uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS).
Methods
Vitamin D testing was performed by Quest Diagnostics on frozen sera using the liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) method. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25 (OH) D ≤20 ng/ml. Comparisons of continuous and categorical characteristics among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women were made by Wilcoxon tests and Pearson chi-squared tests, respectively.
Results
1778 women (1268 HIV+) were studied. 63% had vitamin D deficiency (60% HIV +vs. 72% HIV−; p<0.001). Multivariable predictors of Vitamin D Deficiency were being African American (AOR 3.02), Hispanic (AOR 1.40), Body mass index (AOR 1.43), Age (AOR 0.84), HIV+ (AOR 0.76), Glomerular filtration rate <90/ml/min (AOR 0.94) and WIHS site; Los Angeles (AOR 0.66), Chicago (AOR 0.63). In the HIV+ women multivariate predictors were; undetectable HIVRNA (AOR 0.69), CD4 50–200 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.60), CD4 <50 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.94) and recent Protease Inhibitor use (AOR 0.67).
Conclusions
In this study of over 1700 women in the US, most women with or without HIV infection had low vitamin D levels and African American women had the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency. An understanding of the role that vitamin D deficiency plays in non-AIDS related morbidities is planned for investigation in WIHS.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31821ae418
PMCID: PMC3431159  PMID: 21471818
Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency; HIV infected; HIV uninfected
15.  Lack of Increased Hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected Pregnant Women Receiving Nevirapine Compared to Other Antiretrovirals 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(1):109-114.
Objective
To estimate whether HIV-infected pregnant women were at increased risk of hepatotoxicity when taking nevirapine (NVP) containing regimens compared to HIV-infected pregnant women taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) not containing NVP.
Methods
This analysis included HIV-infected pregnant women on ART from two multicenter, prospective cohorts: The Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) protocol P1025. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to investigate the association between NVP use and hepatotoxicity. NVP use was dichotomized as use or no use and further categorized according to ART exposure history. We investigated two outcomes: any liver enzyme elevation (LEE) (grade 1-4) and severe LEE (grade 3-4).
Results
A total of 1229 women with ART use during pregnancy were studied, 218 (17.7%) of whom received NVP. Among the women receiving NVP, 137 (62.8%) were NVP naïve. Twenty-nine women (13.3%) who received NVP developed any LEE and one (0.5%) developed severe LEE. Of the 1011 women on non-NVP regimens, 145 (14.3%) developed any LEE and 14 (1.4%) developed severe LEE. There were no maternal deaths. In univariate models, LEE was not significantly associated with CD4+ count > 250 cells/μL or NVP use. In adjusted multivariate models, no significant increased risk of LEE (any or severe) in women taking NVP was detected as compared to those taking other ART regardless of prior exposure history.
Conclusions
We did not observe an increased risk of hepatotoxicity among HIV-infected pregnant women on NVP versus other ART, including women who were ART naïve.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283323941
PMCID: PMC3388940  PMID: 19926957
AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; hepatotoxicity; HIV; nevirapine; pregnancy; women
16.  A Novel Expression of Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hypertension in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Patients: A Pilot Study 
Background:
Patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at risk for multiple pulmonary complications including pulmonary hypertension. Exercise induced pulmonary hypertension (EIPH) has been previously described in patients with scleroderma, sickle cell disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, yet has not been associated with the HIV population.
Methods:
A prospective case-control study design was implemented. Four HIV patients with unexplained dyspnea and four healthy controls underwent symptom-limited stationary bicycle exercise. Transthoracic Doppler Echocardiography was used to measure tricuspid regurgitation velocity which was used to calculate the right ventricular to right atrial pressure (RV-RA) gradient at rest and at peak exercise using the simplified Bernoulli’s equation. Change in RV-RA gradient between rest and peak exercise was calculated and considered to represent change in pulmonary arterial systolic pressure.
Results:
The mean age was 41.25 years (±8.7) for patients and 33.5 years (±6.0) for controls. The mean CD4 count of patients was 191.5 cells/μL (±136.2). Patients had a significantly higher increase in RV-RA gradient as compared to controls (180.2% vs. 27.5%, p = 0.03).
Discussion:
This pilot study suggests that it is feasible to use recumbent bicycle and transthoracic Doppler echocardiography for the evaluation of EIPH among HIV patients with dyspnea of unknown etiology. The study is too small to draw any broad conclusion. Further evaluation of this concept with a larger study is warranted.
doi:10.2174/1874192401206010044
PMCID: PMC3339433  PMID: 22550549
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); pulmonary hypertension; exercises induced pulmonary hypertension.
17.  Isolated Hepatitis B Core Antibody Is Associated with HIV and Ongoing but Not Resolved Hepatitis C Virus Infection in a Cohort of US Women 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2007;195(10):1437-1442.
To characterize predictors of isolated hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and HIV-uninfected women, we compared 702 women with anti-HBc and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) with 490 women with isolated anti-HBc (1.8% of whom had detectable hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA). Factors independently associated with isolated anti-HBc without viremia were detectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, HIV positivity, history of injection drug use, >10 lifetime sex partners, and HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/mL. Anti-HBs levels were lower among anti-HCV–positive women. Isolated anti-HBc was rarely explained by occult HBV in this cohort but may be explained by the influence of viral coinfections on anti-HBs level or durability.
doi:10.1086/515578
PMCID: PMC3133731  PMID: 17436223
18.  Pyrosequencing of the Genital Microbiotas of HIV-Seropositive and -Seronegative Women Reveals Lactobacillus iners as the Predominant Lactobacillus Species▿  
The species of vaginal lactobacilli in HIV-seropositive and -seronegative women were determined by 16S gene pyrosequencing. Lactobacillus iners sequences were the predominant lactobacillus sequences in 66% of HIV+ women and 90% of HIV− women. This has implications for resistance of HIV+ and HIV− women to genital colonization by pathogenic organisms.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00973-10
PMCID: PMC3019699  PMID: 21075899
19.  Causes of Death among Women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
The American journal of medicine  2002;113(2):91-98.
PURPOSE
To examine changes in the causes of death and mortality in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy.
METHODS
Among women with, or at risk of, HIV infection, who were enrolled in a national study from 1994 to 1995, we used an algorithm that classified cause of death as due to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or non-AIDS causes based on data from death certificates and the CD4 count. Poisson regression models were used to estimate death rates and to determine the risk factors for AIDS and non-AIDS deaths.
RESULTS
Of 2059 HIV-infected women and 569 who were at risk of HIV infection, 468 (18%) had died by April 2000 (451 HIV-infected and 17 not infected). Causes of death were available for 428 participants (414 HIV-infected and 14 not infected). Among HIV-infected women, deaths were classified as AIDS (n = 294), non-AIDS (n = 91), or indeterminate (n = 29). The non-AIDS causes included liver failure (n = 19), drug overdose (n = 16), non-AIDS malignancies (n = 12), cardiac disease (n = 10), and murder, suicide, or accident (n = 10). All-cause mortality declined an average of 26% per year (P = 0.03) and AIDS-related mortality declined by 39% per year (P = 0.01), whereas non-AIDS-related mortality remained stable (10% average annual decrease, P = 0.73). Factors that were independently associated with non-AIDS-related mortality included depression, history of injection drug use with hepatitis C infection, cigarette smoking, and age.
CONCLUSION
A substantial minority (20%) of deaths among women with HIV was due to causes other than AIDS. Our data suggest that to decrease mortality further among HIV-infected women, attention must be paid to treatable conditions, such as hepatitis C, depression, and drug and tobacco use.
PMCID: PMC3126666  PMID: 12133746
20.  Prevalence of Clinical Symptoms Associated with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Background
The extended use of antiretroviral drugs among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–seropositive individuals underscores the need for a comprehensive evaluation of therapy-associated clinical symptoms.
Methods
Beginning in April 2000, 364 HIV-seronegative and 1256 HIV-seropositive women enrolled in a multicenter cohort study reported clinical symptoms that included abdominal pain, diarrhea, anorexia, nausea and/or vomiting, myalgias, fatigue, fever, body fat redistribution, dizziness, headaches, paresthesias, xerostomia, nephrolithiasis, and rash. We examined the prevalence of symptoms with respect to HIV infection and the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), using data-correlation models.
Results
In the 6 months before a study visit, 49% of HIV-seronegative women, 67% of HIV-seropositive women not receiving therapy, and 69% of HIV-seropositive women receiving HAART reported any clinical symptom. The odds ratios (ORs) for reporting any symptom were 1.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–1.8) for women who changed HAART regimens and 0.9 (95% CI, 0.7–1.1) for women reporting stable HAART use, compared with those reporting no therapy use. Significant findings (P < .05) for particular symptoms were an increased odds of diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, body fat redistribution, myalgias, and paresthesias, when data for women who changed HAART regimens were compared with those for women not receiving therapy. The OR for reporting any symptom was 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2–1.9) for women who switched HAART regimens and 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3–1.9) for women who discontinued HAART, compared with those reporting stable HAART use.
Conclusions
Our findings confirm the high prevalence of clinical symptoms among HIV-seropositive women who changed HAART regimens. The high prevalence of symptoms among HIV-seronegative women and HIV-seropositive women not receiving therapy demonstrates that caution should be used when attributing the occurrence of symptoms entirely to HAART.
doi:10.1086/423181
PMCID: PMC3118991  PMID: 15356788
21.  Association between Syphilis, Antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2, and Recreational Drug Use and Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Background
Liver disease is a leading cause of death in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected women; however, risk factors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in this population have not been well studied.
Methods
We describe the seroprevalence and predictors of HBV infection in a cross-sectional analysis of 2132 women with and at risk for HIV infection enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study during the periods 1994–95 and 2001–02. Any test result positive for antibody to hepatitis B core antigen defined infection; those women with serological evidence of vaccine immunity were excluded from analysis. Women were stratified into those with a history of injection drug use (IDU), those with a history of noninjection drug use (non-IDU), and those with no history of illicit drug use.
Results
Of 1606 HIV-infected and 526 HIV-uninfected women, 7% and 12%, respectively, appeared to be vaccine immune. After exclusion of these women, 43% of 1500 HIV-infected and 22% of 461 HIV-uninfected women had HBV infection. HBV infection prevalence differed among the IDU, non-IDU, and no illicit drug use groups (76%, 30%, and 17%, respectively; P < .0001). HBV infection was strongly associated with herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) seropositivity in the IDU group (odds ratio [OR], 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–5.4) and with a history of syphilis in the non-IDU group (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4–5.0).
Discussion
We found a high prevalence of HBV infection in our cohort of women with and at risk for HIV infection. HSV-2 seropositivity and a history of syphilis appeared to be important correlates of HBV infection. Sexual transmission of HBV, particularly in those with a history of genital ulcer disease, should be a major focus of education in all high-risk groups.
doi:10.1086/424879
PMCID: PMC3118996  PMID: 15494914
22.  Increased Circulating Interleukin-7 Levels in HIV-1–Infected Women 
Summary
Sex-based differences in CD4 T-cell (CD4) counts are well recognized, but the basis for these differences has not been identified. Conceivably, homeostatic factors may play a role in this process by regulating T-cell maintenance and repletion. Interleukin (IL)-7 is essential for normal T-cell production and homeostasis. We hypothesized that differences in IL-7 might contribute to sex-based differences in CD4 counts. Circulating IL-7 levels were analyzed in 299 HIV-1–infected women and men. Regression analysis estimated that IL-7 levels were 40% higher in women than in men (P = 0.0032) after controlling for CD4 count, age, and race. Given the important role of IL-7 in T-cell development and homeostasis, these findings suggest that higher IL-7 levels may contribute to higher CD4 counts in women.
PMCID: PMC3119025  PMID: 16284535
interleukin-7; sexual dimorphism; CD4-positive T cells; cytokines; sex differences
23.  Prevalence and Predictors of Toxoplasma Seropositivity in Women with and at Risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
We assessed the prevalence and predictors of latent Toxoplasma infection in a large group of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and HIV-uninfected at-risk US women. The prevalence of latent Toxoplasma infection was 15% (380 of 2525 persons) and did not differ by HIV infection status. HIV-infected women aged ≥50 years and those born outside of the United States were more likely to have latent Toxoplasma infection, with prevalences of 32% and 41%, respectively.
doi:10.1086/344462
PMCID: PMC3119037  PMID: 12439806
24.  Predictors of reported influenza vaccination in HIV-infected women in the United States, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons 
Preventive medicine  2010;50(5-6):223-229.
Objective
To estimate the cumulative incidence of self-reported influenza vaccination (“vaccination coverage”) and investigate predictors in HIV-infected women.
Methods
In an ongoing cohort study of HIV-infected women in five US cities, data from two influenza seasons (2006-07 n=1,209 and 2007-08 n=1,161) were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals ([,]) from Poisson regression with robust variance models using generalized estimating equations (GEE).
Results
In our study, 55% and 57% of HIV-infected women reported vaccination during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, respectively. Using data from both seasons, older age, non-smoking status, CD4 T-lymphocyte (CD4) count ≥200 cells/mm3, and reporting at least one recent healthcare visit was associated with increased vaccination coverage. In the 2007-08 season, a belief in the protection of the vaccine (aPR=1.38 [1.18, 1.61]) and influenza vaccination in the previous season (aPR=1.66 [1.44, 1.91]) most strongly predicted vaccination status.
Conclusion
Interventions to reach unvaccinated HIV-infected women should focus on changing beliefs about the effectiveness of influenza vaccination and target younger women, current smokers, those without recent healthcare visits, or a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3.
doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.03.007
PMCID: PMC2883293  PMID: 20303362
HIV/AIDS; highly active antiretroviral therapy; influenza vaccine; vaccine coverage; multi-center study; cohort study; United States; adult; female
25.  Increased Risk of Hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected Pregnant Women Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy Independent of Nevirapine Exposure 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(18):2425-2430.
Objective
To estimate whether the association between nevirapine (NVP) and hepatotoxicity differs according to pregnancy status in HIV-infected women.
Methods
This analysis included HIV-infected pregnant women on ART from two multicenter, prospective cohorts: The Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) protocol P1025 and HIV-infected non-pregnant women from one multicenter, prospective cohort: The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression, the interaction between NVP and pregnancy status in terms of hepatotoxicity was investigated. NVP use was dichotomized as use or no use and was further categorized according to ART exposure history. We investigated two outcomes: any liver enzyme elevation (LEE) (grade 1-4) and severe LEE (grade 3-4).
Results
Data on 2050 HIV-infected women taking ART were included, 1229 (60.0%) pregnant and 821 (40.0%) non-pregnant. Among the pregnant women, 174 (14.2%) developed any LEE and 15 (1.2%) developed severe LEE as compared to 75 (9.1%) and 5 (0.6%) respectively of the non-pregnant women. In multivariate adjusted models, NVP was not significantly associated with risk of LEE regardless of pregnancy status; however, pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of any LEE (RR 4.7, CI 3.4 – 6.5) and severe LEE (RR 3.8, CI 1.3 – 11.1). The association of pregnancy and LEE was seen regardless of prior ART and NVP exposure history.
Conclusions
No significant association between NVP and LEE was observed regardless of pregnancy status, but pregnancy was significantly associated with increased hepatotoxocity in HIV-infected women.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832e34b1
PMCID: PMC2783653  PMID: 19617813
AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; hepatotoxicity; HIV; nevirapine; pregnancy; women

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