Gender-based violence (GBV) is common among women with and at risk for HIV, yet little is known about the GBV associated psychological factors that could be modifiable through behavioral interventions. The current study examined the associations between some of these psychological factors (i.e., hopelessness, consideration of future consequences, self esteem), mental health symptoms, substance abuse, and GBV among a sample of 736 HIV-infected and sociodemographically similar uninfected participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Results indicated high rates of lifetime GBV among the sample (58%), as well as high rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) (22.2%). HIV-infected women were more likely to be hopeless and to experience lower consideration of future consequences as compared to uninfected women. Multivariable analysis indicated that current non-injection drug use and a history of injection drug use were the main correlates of GBV and CSA, even when other psychosocial variables were included in analytic models. Being born outside of the US reduced the likelihood of GBV and CSA. Future research directions and intervention implications are discussed.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a complication of antibiotic-induced injury to the gut microbiome, is a prevalent and dangerous cause of infectious diarrhea. Antimicrobial therapy for CDI is typically effective for acute symptoms, but up to one third of patients later experience recurrent CDI. Fecal-derived microbiota transplantation (FMT) can ameliorate the underlying dysbiosis and is highly effective for recurrent CDI. Traditional methods of FMT are limited by patient discomfort, risk and inefficient procedures. Many individuals with recurrent CDI have extensive comorbidities and advanced age. Widespread use of FMT requires strategies that are non-invasive, scalable and applicable across healthcare settings.
A method to facilitate microbiota transfer was developed. Fecal samples were collected and screened for potential pathogens. Bacteria were purified, concentrated, cryopreserved and formulated into multi-layered capsules. Capsules were administered to patients with recurrent CDI, who were then monitored for 90 days.
Thirteen women and six men with recurrent CDI were provided with microbiota transfer with orally administered capsules. The procedure was well tolerated. Thirteen individuals responded to a single course. Four patients were cured after a second course. There were 2 failures. The cumulative clinical cure rate of 89% is similar to the rates achieved with reported fecal-derived transplantation procedures.
Recurrent CDI represents a profound dysbiosis and a debilitating chronic disease. Stable cure can be achieved by restoring the gut microbiome with an effective, well-tolerated oral capsule treatment. This strategy of microbiota transfer can be widely applied and is particularly appropriate for frail patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0930-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Clostridium difficile; Fecal transplantation; Fecal microbiota transfer; Capsule; Diarrhea; Microbiota; Microbiome; Fecal microbiota transplantation
The incidence of aztreonam and cephalosporin susceptibility, determined using the revised CLSI breakpoints, for extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates was evaluated. Our analysis showed that results for aztreonam and/or ≥1 cephalosporin were reported as susceptible or intermediate for 89.2% of ESBL-producing E coli isolates (569/638 isolates) and 67.7% of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates (155/229 isolates).
This study addressed whether psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment of depressed HIV+ women met standards defined in the best practice literature, and tested hypothesized predictors of standard-concordant care. 1,352 HIV-positive women in the multi-center Women’s Interagency HIV Study were queried about depressive symptoms and mental health service utilization using standards published by the American Psychiatric Association and the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research to define adequate depression treatment. We identified those who: 1) reported clinically significant depressive symptoms (CSDS) using Centers for Epidemiological Studies – Depression Scale (CES-D) scores of ≥ 16; or 2) had lifetime diagnoses of major depressive disorder (MDD) assessed by World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interviews plus concurrent elevated depressive symptoms in the past 12 months. Adequate treatment prevalence was 46.2% (n=84) for MDD and 37.9% (n=211) for CSDS. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found that adequate treatment was more likely among women who saw the same primary care provider consistently, who had poorer role functioning, who paid out-of-pocket for healthcare, and who were not African American or Hispanic/Latina. This suggests that adequate depression treatment may be increased by promoting healthcare provider continuity, outreaching individuals with lower levels of role impairment, and addressing the specific needs and concerns of African American and Hispanic/Latina women.
Women and HIV; Depression Treatment; Psychopharmacology; Psychotherapy
We examined the interaction of illicit drug use and depressive symptoms, and how they affect the subsequent likelihood of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use among women with HIV/AIDS.
Subjects included 1,710 HIV-positive women recruited from six sites in the U.S. including Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC. Cases of probable depression were identified using depressive symptom scores on the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Crack, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine use were self-reported at 6-month time intervals. We conducted multivariate logistic random regression analysis of data collected during sixteen waves of semiannual interviews conducted from April 1996 through March 2004.
We found an interaction effect between illicit drug use and depression that acted to suppress subsequent HAART use, controlling for virologic and immunologic indicators, socio-demographic variables, time, and study site.
This is the first study to document the interactive effects of drug use and depressive symptoms on reduced likelihood of HAART use in a national cohort of women. Since evidence-based behavioral health and antiretroviral therapies for each of these three conditions are now available, comprehensive HIV treatment is an achievable public health goal.
HIV; depression; HAART; drug use
The risk of clinically significant depressive symptoms increases during the perimenopause. With highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), more HIV-infected women survive to transition through the menopause. In a cross-sectional analysis, we evaluated the association of menopausal stage and vasomotor symptoms with depressive symptoms in an ethnically diverse, cohort of women with a high prevalence of HIV.
Participants included 835 HIV-infected women and 335 HIV-uninfected controls from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; 63% African-American). The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale was used to screen for elevated depressive symptoms. Menopausal stages were defined according to standard definitions. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of elevated depressive symptoms.
Compared to premenopausal women, early perimenopausal (OR 1.74, 95%CI 1.17–2.60), but not late perimenopausal or postmenopausal women were more likely to show elevated depressive symptoms in adjusted analyses. The odds were similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. Persistent vasomotor symptoms also predicted elevated depressive symptoms in HIV-infected and uninfected women (OR 1.45, 95%CI 1.02–2.06). In HIV-infected women, menopausal stage interacted with antiretroviral use (p=0.02); the likelihood of elevated depressive symptoms in early perimenopause compared with premenopause was especially high in HAART-untreated women (OR 3.87, 95%CI 1.57–9.55).
In HIV+ and HIV− women, the odds of elevated depressive symptoms were significantly higher during the early perimenopause. Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with nonadherence to HAART, underscoring the importance of screening and treating depressive symptoms in HIV+ women who have experienced a change in the regularity of their menstrual cycles.
HIV; Depression; Menopause; Perimenopause; African American; Vasomotor
Our goal in this study was to examine how Vitamin C interacts with antiretroviral therapy in individuals with HIV. We specifically evaluated how Vitamin C impacts highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence and HAART effectiveness as adjudicated by HIV viral loads and CD4 cell counts. Women served as their own controls, comparing periods of Vitamin C usage with periods of non-usage.
An intra-individual, cross-sectional comparative study ‘nested’ in the WIHS observational cohort study
Women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Adherence, CD4 count and Viral load.
Our study population was drawn from 2,813 HIV+ participants who contributed 44,588 visits in WIHS from October, 1994 to April, 2009. Among them, there were 1,122 Vitamin C users with 4,954 total visits where use was reported. In the multivariate model adjusting for age, education, race, income, drug use, Vitamin C use order and depression score, there was a 44% increase in the odds of >=95% HAART adherence among participants during their period of Vitamin C use compared to when they were not using Vitamin C (OR=1.44; 95% CI=1.1–1.9; P-value=0.0179). There was an association with Vitamin C usage and CD4 counts on viral loads.
Vitamin C usage appears to be associated with improved adherence. Future Vitamin C studies should target specific HAART drugs, and prospective clinical outcomes.
Depression is common in people with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and those with HIV, and is a risk factor for CVD-related mortality. However, little is known about whether HIV influences the relationship between depression and cardiovascular risk. 526 HIV-infected and 132 uninfected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study were included in an analysis of women who completed twice-yearly study visits over 9.5 years. CVD risk was calculated at baseline and approximately 9.5 years later using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Chronic depressive symptoms were defined as Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores of 16 or greater at ≥75% of study visits. Over the follow-up period, 22.8% of HIV-infected women and 15.9% of HIV-uninfected women had chronic depressive symptoms (p=0.08). Baseline FRS were similar between HIV infected and uninfected women (M=−5.70±SE=0.30 vs. M=−6.90± SE=0.60, p=0.07) as was follow-up FRS (M=0.82±SE=0.30 vs. M=−0.44± SE=0.73, p=0.11). Among HIV-infected and uninfected women, together, follow-up FRS were higher among women with chronic depressive symptoms as compared to those without (M=1.3± SE=0.6 vs. M=−0.3± SE=0.40, p<0.01), after adjusting for baseline FRS and other covariates. HIV status did not modify the relationship between chronic depressive symptoms and FRS. Chronic depressive symptoms accelerated CVD risk scores to a similar extent in both HIV infected and uninfected women. This implies that the diagnosis and treatment of depression may be an important consideration in CV risk reduction in the setting of HIV-infection. The determination of factors that mediate the depression/CVD relationship merits further study.
Depression is common among HIV-infected women, predicts treatment nonadherence, and consequently may impact vertical transmission of HIV. We report findings from a study evaluating preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum depressive symptoms in HIV-infected vs. at-risk, HIV-uninfected women.
We examined the prevalence and predictors of elevated perinatal (i.e., pregnancy and/or postpartum) depressive symptoms using a Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale score of ≥16 in 139 HIV-infected and 105 HIV-uninfected women (62% African American) from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
The prevalence of elevated perinatal depressive symptoms did not differ by HIV serostatus (HIV-infected 44%, HIV-uninfected 50%, p=0.44). Among HIV-infected women, the strongest predictor of elevated symptoms was preconception depression (odds ratio [OR] 5.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.67-12.19, p<0.001); crack, cocaine, and/or heroin use during preconception was marginally significant (OR 3.10, 95% CI 0.96-10.01, p=0.06). In the overall sample, additional significant predictors of perinatal depression included having multiple sex partners preconception (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.12-4.32, p=0.02), use of preconception mental health services (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.03-6.13, p=0.04), and not graduating from high school (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.06-3.46, p=0.03).
Elevated perinatal depressive symptoms are common among HIV-infected and at-risk HIV-uninfected women. Depressive symptoms before pregnancy were the strongest predictor of perinatal symptoms. Findings underscore the importance of early and ongoing assessment and treatment to ensure low vertical transmission rates and improving postpregnancy outcomes for mothers and children.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected individuals frequently have consumed garlic, a popular complementary supplement. Researchers rarely have studied garlic’s association with antiretroviral therapies, however, even though that association is very relevant clinically.
To examine associations of supplemental use of garlic with highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) adherence level and HAART effectiveness (HIV viral load and CD4+ cell counts) in HIV-infected women.
The research team carried out a self-controlled, longitudinal study nested within the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). The team used a paired study design that allowed participants to serve as their own controls. The team first identified all of the study’s visits in which the participant self-reported the use of a garlic supplement since her last visit (index visit). Then for each index visit, the team identified a matching visit (a control visit) using the following criteria: (a) the visit must be one for the same participant in which that participant reported no garlic supplementation; (b) the visit must immediately precede the index visit (less than 1 year apart); and (c) at the time of the control visit, the participant must have been using antiretroviral therapy identical to that used at the time of the index visit.
Participants were persons using garlic supplementation who already were participants in the WIHS.
The research team used a logistic regression model to examine the association between garlic supplementation and HAART adherence level. The team used a mixed linear model to examine the association of garlic supplementation with HIV viral load and CD4+ cell counts.
From October 1994 to April 2009, 390 HIV-infected women in the WIHS made 1112 visits at which they reported using garlic supplements. Seventy-seven HIV-infected women using HAART met the research team’s selection criteria and contributed 99 pairs of visits for the study. Among the women who used garlic supplements, 22% were 50 years and older; 58% were black and non-Hispanic; and 23% had less than a high-school education. Neither use of garlic supplementation nor reasons for using garlic supplements were significantly associated with the HAART adherence level, HIV viral load, or CD4+ cell counts; however, “use garlic as needed,” a potential marker of a disease state, was significantly associated with higher viral load (P = .0003).
Short-term garlic supplementation did not impact HAART adherence level, HIV viral load, and CD4+ cell counts.
Two of the most pressing public health challenges in the United States are treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and illegal substance use. High rates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use have been reported by individuals who suffer from both of these diseases. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between CAM use and illegal substance use in a cohort of women with HIV or at risk for HIV disease. Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that CAM use may decrease substance use.
This was a longitudinal cohort study.
The subjects comprised Women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
The role of CAM use in illegal substance use was examined. Due to the hierarchical structure of the dataset, logistic regression analysis adjusting for repeated measurements (generalized estimating equation model) was carried out to assess associations of CAM use and illicit drug use.
There were 2176 women included in the analysis. After excluding for marijuana use, CAM use was associated with less drug use (odds ratio 0.82; 95% confidence interval: 0.73, 0.90).
The results supported our hypothesis that CAM users are more health conscious and thus less likely to use illicit drugs. Future studies should target both specific drugs and CAM modalities to help finalize this association.
To compare sexual problems among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women, and describe clinical and psychosocial factors associated with these problems.
Data were collected during a study visit of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). The WIHS studies the natural and treated history of HIV among women in the United States.
Between 10/01/2006 and 3/30/2007, 1,805 women (1,279 HIV-positive and 526 HIV-negative) completed a study visit that included administration of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). In addition, the visit included completion of standardized, interviewer-administered surveys, physical and gynecological examinations, and blood sample collection.
Women with HIV reported greater sexual problems than did those without HIV. Women also reported lower sexual function if they were classified as menopausal, had symptoms indicative of depression, or if they reported not being in a relationship. CD4+ cell count was associated with FSFI scores, such that those with CD4 ≤199 cells/µL reported lower functioning as compared to those whose cell count was 200 or higher.
Given research documenting relationships between self-reported sexual problems and both clinical diagnoses of sexual dysfunction and women’s quality of life, greater attention to this issue as a potential component of women’s overall HIV care is warranted.
HIV; Women; Sexual Behavior; Sexual Problems
Our objective was to describe the association that childcare burden, household composition, and health care utilization have with adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among women in the United States. The primary outcome was 95% or more adherence to HAART evaluated at 10,916 semiannual visits between October 1998 and March 2006 among 1419 HIV-infected participants enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. HAART adherence levels of 95% or more were reported at 76% of the semiannual visits. At only 4% of the person-visits did women report either quite a bit or extreme difficulty in caring for child; at 52% of the person-visits women reported at least one child 18 years of age or older living in the household. We found a one-unit increase in the difficulty in caring for children (childcare burden was assessed on a 5-point scale: not difficult  to extremely difficult ) was associated with a 6% decreased odds of 95% or more HAART adherence (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.94; p = 0.07). Each additional child 18 years of age or less living in the household was associated with an 8% decreased odds of 95% or more adherence (adjusted OR = 0.92, p = 0.03). Both the number and type of adult living in the household, as well as health care utilization were not associated with HAART adherence. Greater child care burden and number of children 18 years old or younger living in household were both inversely associated with HAART adherence. Assessing patients' difficulties in caring for children and household composition are important factors to consider when addressing adherence to HAART.
Cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for adverse health events in HIV-infected populations. While recent US population-wide surveys report annual sustained smoking cessation rates of 3.4–8.5%, prospective data are lacking on cessation rates for HIV-infected smokers.
To determine the sustained tobacco cessation rate and predictors of cessation among women with or at risk for HIV infection.
Prospective cohort study.
A total of 747 women (537 HIV-infected and 210 HIV-uninfected) who reported smoking at enrollment (1994–1995) in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and remained in follow-up after 10 years. The participants were mostly minority (61% non-Hispanic Blacks and 22% Hispanics) and low income (68% with reported annual incomes of less than or equal to $12,000).
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
The primary outcome was defined as greater than 12 months continuous cessation at year 10. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent baseline predictors of subsequent tobacco cessation. A total of 121 (16%) women reported tobacco cessation at year 10 (annual sustained cessation rate of 1.8%, 95% CI 1.6–2.1%). Annual sustained cessation rates were 1.8% among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women (p = 0.82). In multivariate analysis, the odds of tobacco cessation were significantly higher in women with more years of education (p trend = 0.02) and of Hispanic origin (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.4–2.9) compared to Black women. Cessation was significantly lower in current or former illicit drug users (OR = 0.42 95% CI = 0.24–0.74 and OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.49–0.86, respectively, p trend = 0.03) and women reporting a higher number of cigarettes per day at baseline (p trend < 0.001).
HIV-infected and at-risk women in this cohort have lower smoking cessation rates than the general population. Given the high prevalence of smoking, the high risk of adverse health events from smoking, and low rates of cessation, it is imperative that we increase efforts and overcome barriers to help these women quit smoking.
smoking cessation; HIV/AIDS; clinical epidemiology; vulnerable populations
Longitudinal associations between patterns of crack cocaine use and progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) disease are poorly understood, especially among women. This paper explores relationships between crack use and HIV-1 disease outcomes in a multi-center cohort of infected women.
Subjects were 1686 HIV-seropositive women enrolled at six U.S. research centers in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Approximately 80% were nonwhite and 29% used crack during the study period. Cox survival and random regression analysis examined bi-annual observations made April 1996 through September 2004. Outcome measures included: death due to AIDS-related causes; CD4 cell count; HIV-1 RNA level; and newly acquired AIDS-defining illnesses.
Persistent crack users were over three times as likely as nonusers to die from AIDS-related causes, controlling for use of highly active antiretroviral viral therapies self-reported at >=95% adherence, problem drinking, age, race, income, education, illness duration, study site, and baseline virologic and immunological indicators. Persistent crack users and intermittent users in active phases showed greater CD4 cell loss and higher HIV-1 RNA levels controlling for the same covariates. Persistent and intermittent crack users were more likely than nonusers to develop new AIDS-defining illnesses controlling for identical confounds. These results persisted when controlling for heroin use, tobacco smoking, depressive symptoms, Hepatitis C virus co-infection, and intravenous drug use.
Use of crack cocaine independently predicts AIDS-related mortality, immunologic and virologic markers of HIV-1 disease progression, and development of AIDS-defining illnesses among women.
Our objective was to describe the association that childcare burden, household composition, and health care utilization have with adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among women in the United States. The primary outcome was 95% or more adherence to HAART evaluated at 10,916 semiannual visits between October 1998 and March 2006 among 1419 HIV-infected participants enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. HAART adherence levels of 95% or more were reported at 76% of the semiannual visits. At only 4% of the person-visits did women report either quite a bit or extreme difficulty in caring for child; at 52% of the person-visits women reported at least one child 18 years of age or older living in the household. We found a one-unit increase in the difficulty in caring for children (childcare burden was assessed on a 5-point scale: not difficult  to extremely difficult ) was associated with a 6% decreased odds of 95% or more HAART adherence (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=0.94; p=0.07). Each additional child 18 years of age or less living in the household was associated with an 8% decreased odds of 95% or more adherence (adjusted OR=0.92, p=0.03). Both the number and type of adult living in the household, as well as health care utilization were not associated with HAART adherence. Greater child care burden and number of children 18 years old or younger living in household were both inversely associated with HAART adherence. Assessing patients’ difficulties in caring for children and household composition are important factors to consider when addressing adherence to HAART.
The purpose of this work was to evaluate whether living with children adversely affects adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected women.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS
We conducted a prospective cohort study between October 1998 and September 2005. The study outcome was ≥95% adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy evaluated at 5832 semiannual visits among 1366 HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. The primary exposure defined at the visit immediately before outcome ascertainment was the number of children ≤18 years of age reported living in the household.
The percentage of women who reported ≥2 children in the household who also reported ≥95% adherence ranged from 68% to 75% compared with adherence when either 1 child or no children were reported. Each additional child reported living in the household was associated with a 6% decrease in the odds of ≥95% adherence.
The impact of living with a child on the ability to take medications by HIV-infected women has not been examined thoroughly. Our data suggest that adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy is inversely associated with the number of children living in the household.
adherence; children; HAART; HIV
This study examined the utility of cognitive and behavioral constructs (AIDS information, motivation, and behavioral skills) in explaining sexual risk taking among 172 12–20–year-old ethnically diverse urban youths in outpatient psychiatric care. Structural equation modeling revealed only moderate support for the model, explaining low to moderate levels of variance in global sexual risk taking. The amount of explained variance improved when age was included as a predictor in the model. Findings shed light on the contribution of AIDS information, motivation, and behavioral skills to risky sexual behavior among teens receiving outpatient psychiatric care. Results suggest that cognitive and behavioral factors alone may not explain sexual risk taking among teens whose cognitive and emotional deficits (e.g., impaired judgment, poor reality testing, affect dysregulation) interfere with HIV preventive behavior. The most powerful explanatory model will likely include a combination of cognitive, behavioral, developmental, social (e.g., family), and personal (e.g., psychopathology) risk mechanisms.
Efforts to control chlamydial and gonococcal infections include notifying eligible sexual partners of possible infection, primarily by asking the diagnosed patient to notify their partners. This approach, known as patient referral, is widely used but poorly understood. The current study examined psychosocial and cognitive factors associated with patient referral among an urban, minority sample of 168 participants recently diagnosed with Chlamydia trachomatis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. At a follow-up interview 1-month from diagnosis, participants were more likely to have notified all eligible partners if they had greater intention to notify at baseline (OR = 3.72; 95% CI = 1.34, 10.30) and if they had only one partner at baseline (OR = 4.08; 95% CI = 1.61, 10.31). There were also gender differences as well as differences based on type of partner (i.e., regular, casual, one-time). The implications of these findings for the design of programs to promote patient referral for sexually transmitted infections are discussed.
Partner notification; Patient referral; STI