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1.  Cleavage/Alteration of Interleukin-8 by Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in the Female Lower Genital Tract 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116911.
Objective
Interleukin-8 (IL-8, CXCL8) plays important roles in immune responses at mucosal sites including in the lower genital tract. Since several types of bacteria produce proteases that cleave IL-8 and many types of bacteria can be present in lower genital tract microbiota, we assessed genital fluids for IL-8 cleavage/alteration.
Study Design
Genital fluids collected by lavage from 200 women (23 HIV-seronegative and 177 HIV-seropositive) were tested for IL-8 cleavage/alteration by ELISA.
Results
IL-8 cleaving/altering activity was observed in fluids from both HIV-positive (28%) and HIV-negative women (35%). There was no clear relationship between the activity and the types of bacteria present in the lower genital tract as determined by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Protease inhibitors specific for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) reduced the activity and a multiplex assay that detects both inactive and active MMPs showed the presence of multiple MMPs, including MMP-1, -3, -7, -8, -9, -10 and -12 in genital secretions from many of the women. The IL-8-cleaving/altering activity significantly correlated with active MMP-9 as well as with cleavage of a substrate that is acted on by several active MMPs.
Conclusions
These studies show that multiple MMPs are present in the genital tract of women and strongly suggest that MMP-9 in genital secretions can cleave IL-8 at this mucosal site. These studies suggest that MMP-mediated cleavage of IL-8 can modulate inflammatory responses in the lower genital tract.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116911
PMCID: PMC4303271  PMID: 25611319
2.  Common Clinical Conditions – Age, Low BMI, Ritonavir Use, Mild Renal Impairment - Affect Tenofovir Pharmacokinetics in a Large Cohort of HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(1):59-66.
Objective
Tenofovir is used commonly in HIV treatment and prevention settings, but factors that correlate with tenofovir exposure in real-world setting are unknown.
Design
Intensive pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of tenofovir in a large, diverse cohort of HIV-infected women over 24-hours at steady-state were performed and factors that influenced exposure (assessed by areas-under-the-time-concentration curves, AUCs) identified
Methods
HIV-infected women (n=101) on tenofovir-based therapy underwent intensive 24-hour PK sampling. Data on race/ethnicity, age, exogenous steroid use, menstrual cycle phase, concomitant medications, recreational drugs and/or tobacco, hepatic and renal function, weight and body mass index (BMI) were collected. Multivariable models using forward stepwise selection identified factors associated with effects on AUC. Glomerular filtration rates (GFR) prior to starting tenofovir were estimated by the CKD-EPI equation using both creatinine and cystatin-C measures
Results
The median (range) of tenofovir AUCs was 3350 (1031–13,911) ng x h/mL. Higher AUCs were associated with concomitant ritonavir use (1.33-fold increase, p 0.002), increasing age (1.21-fold increase per decade, p=0.0007) and decreasing BMI (1.04-fold increase per 10% decrease in BMI). When GFR was calculated using cystatin-C measures, mild renal insufficiency prior to tenofovir initiation was associated with higher subsequent exposure (1.35-fold increase when pre-tenofovir GFR <70mL/min, p=0.0075).
Conclusions
Concomitant ritonavir use, increasing age, decreasing BMI and lower GFR prior to tenofovir initiation as estimated by cystatin C were all associated with elevated tenofovir exposure in a diverse cohort of HIV-infected women. Clinicians treating HIV-infected women should be aware of common clinical conditions that affect tenofovir exposure when prescribing this medication.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000033
PMCID: PMC3956315  PMID: 24275255
Tenofovir; pharmacokinetics; HIV-infected women; diverse populations; GFR; cystatin C
3.  Comparison of Antibodies That Mediate HIV Type 1 gp120 Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity in Asymptomatic HIV Type 1-Positive Men and Women 
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that HIV-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) antibodies contribute to protective immunity against HIV. An important characteristic of future HIV vaccines will, therefore, be the ability to stimulate production of these antibodies in both men and women. Early studies suggest that men may have a better ADCC antibody response against HIV than women. Our objective was to determine whether men and women differ with respect to their ADCC response to HIV-1 gp120. HIV-positive, asymptomatic untreated men and women were matched for race, age, CD4+ T cell number, HIV-1 viral load, and treatment and HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers were compared. A standard 51Cr-release assay was used to determine HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers in HIV-1-seropositive individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; n=32) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; n=32). Both sexes had high ADCC titers against HIV-1 gp120: 34.4% (n=11) and 40.6% (n=13) of men and women, respectively, had titers of 10,000; 62.5% (n=20) and 56.3% (n=18) had titers of 100,000. Groups did not differ in percent specific release (% SR), lytic units (LU), correlations of titer to viral load, or titer to CD4+ T cells in men or women. Both groups also had similar cross-clade ADCC antibody responses (p>0.5 for % SR and LU). Comparable groups of asymptomatic HIV-1-infected men and women had comparable HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibodies. Both sexes had significant cross-clade reactivity. Differences between men and women may become evident as disease progresses; this should be evaluated at later stages of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0377
PMCID: PMC3887406  PMID: 23972002
4.  Anthropometric measures and cognition in middle-aged HIV-infected and uninfected women. The Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(6):574-585.
Objective
To explore the relationship of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with cognition in women with (HIV+) and without HIV (HIV-) infection.
Design/Methods
1690 participants (1196 HIV+, 494 HIV-) in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) with data available on anthropometric measures comprise the analytical sample. Cross-sectional analyses using linear regression models estimated the relationship between anthropometric variables and Trails A, Trails B, Stroop interference time, Stroop word recall, Stroop color naming and reading, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) with consideration for age, HIV infection status, Wide Range Achievement Test score, CD4 count, insulin resistance, drug use, and race/ethnicity.
Results
Among HIV+ women, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2 was associated with poorer cognitive performance evidenced by longer Trails A and Trails B and shorter SDMT completion times. An obese BMI (30 kg/m2 or higher) was related to better performance on Trails B and worse performance on the Stroop Interference test. Among HIV- women, an obese BMI was related to worse performance on the Stroop – Color naming test. Few and inconsistent associations were observed between WC, WHR and cognition.
Conclusion
Among women at mid-life with chronic (at least 10 years) HIV infection, common anthropometric measures, primarily BMI, were differentially related to cognitive test performance by cognitive domain. Higher levels of BMI were associated with better cognitive function. In this era of antiretroviral therapies, restoration of health evidenced as higher BMI due to effective antiretroviral therapies, may improve cognitive function in middle-aged HIV infected women.
doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0219-1
PMCID: PMC3957488  PMID: 24338243
Cognition; HIV; Women; Overweight; Obesity; Middle-Aged
5.  Gender Roles and Mental Health in Women With and at Risk for HIV 
Psychology of women quarterly  2014;38(3):311-326.
Predominantly low-income and African American women from the same community, HIV-infected (n = 100; HIV+) and uninfected (n = 42; HIV−), were assessed on reported gender roles in sexual and other close relationships—including levels of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and sexual relationship power—at a single recent study visit during 2008–2012. Recent gender roles were investigated in relation to depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life assessed both at a single visit during 2008–2012 and averaged over semiannual visits (for depressive symptoms) and annual visits (for quality of life) occurring between 1994 and 2012. Compared to HIV− women, HIV+ women reported significantly higher levels of several aspects of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and multi-year averaged depressive symptoms as well as lower levels of sexual relationship power and recent and multi-year averaged quality of life. For both HIV+ and HIV− women, higher self-silencing and unmitigated communion significantly related to recent or multi-year averaged higher depressive symptoms and lower quality of life. Intervention strategies designed to increase self-care and self-advocacy in the context of relationships could potentially minimize depressive symptoms and enhance quality of life in women with and at risk for HIV.
doi:10.1177/0361684314525579
PMCID: PMC4258411  PMID: 25492991
sex roles; HIV; depression; quality of life; silencing the self; communion; health; empowerment
6.  The Association of Self-perception of Body Fat Changes and Quality of Life in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS care  2013;25(12):10.1080/09540121.2013.793265.
Body fat changes are of concern to HIV-seropositive adults on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Studies examining the association of body fat changes and quality of life (QOL) in the setting of HIV infection have been conducted predominately in men. We examined the relationship of self-perceived body fat change with QOL among 1,671 HAART-using HIV-seropositive women (mean age 40 ± 8 years; 54% African American, 24% reporting ≤ 95% HAART adherence) from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Self-perception of any fat loss was associated with lower overall QOL. Report of any peripheral fat loss was strongly associated with nearly all QOL domains (i.e., physical functioning, role functioning, energy/fatigue, social functioning, pain, emotional well-being, health perception, and perceived health index) except cognitive functioning, whereas report of any central fat loss was significantly associated with lower social and cognitive functioning. Report of any central fat gain was associated with lower overall QOL, but only physical functioning, energy/fatigue, and cognitive functioning were significantly affected. A significant association of report of any peripheral fat gain with overall QOL was not observed, however peripheral fat gain was significantly associated with lower physical functioning and pain. We found that any report of fat loss, especially in peripheral body sites is associated with lower QOL, as was any report of central fat gain. Ultimately health providers and patients need to be informed of these associations so as to better support HIV-seropositive women who live with these effects.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2013.793265
PMCID: PMC3769511  PMID: 23656440
body image perception; lipoatrophy; lipohypertrophy; Quality of life; HIV-seropositive women; HAART
7.  Understanding the disparity: Predictors of virologic failure in women using highly active antiretroviral therapy vary by race and/or ethnicity 
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)  2013;64(3):10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a095e9.
Background
Stark racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes exist among those living with HIV in the United States. One of three primary goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is to reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities.
Methods
Using data from HIV-infected women participating in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study from April 2006 to March 2011, we measured virologic failure (HIV RNA >200 copies/mL) following suppression (HIV RNA <80 copies/mL) on HAART. We identified predictors of virologic failure using discrete-time survival analysis and calculated racial/ethnic-specific population attributable fractions (PAFs).
Results
Of 887 eligible women, 408 (46%) experienced virologic failure during the study period. Hispanic and White women had significantly lower hazards of virologic failure than African-American women (Hispanic hazard ratio, HR=0.8, 95% confidence interval [0.6, 0.9]; White HR=0.7 [0.5, 0.9]). The population attributable fraction of virologic failure associated with low income was higher in Hispanic (aHR=2.2 [0.7, 6.5], PAF=49%) and African-American women (aHR=1.8 [1.1, 3.2], PAF=38%) than among White women (aHR=1.4 [0.6, 3.4], PAF=16%). Lack of health insurance compared to public health insurance was associated with virologic failure only among Hispanic (aHR=2.0 [0.9, 4.6], PAF=22%) and White women (aHR=1.9 [0.7, 5.1], PAF=13%). By contrast, depressive symptoms were associated with virologic failure only among African-American women (aHR=1.6 [1.2, 2.2], PAF=17%).
Conclusions
In this population of treated HIV-infected women, virologic failure was common, and correlates of virologic failure varied by race/ethnicity. Strategies to reduce disparities in HIV treatment outcomes by race/ethnicity should address racial/ethnic-specific barriers including depression and low income to sustain virologic suppression.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a095e9
PMCID: PMC3816935  PMID: 23797695
disparities; race/ethnicity; virologic failure; HAART; HIV; women
8.  Serum biomarkers of immune activation and subsequent risk of non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma among HIV-infected women 
Background
There is increasing evidence that chronic immune activation predisposes to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Whether this association exists among women representative of the current HIV epidemic in the U.S. who are at high risk of HIV-associated NHL (AIDS-NHL), remains to be determined.
Methods
We conducted a nested case-control study within the Women’s Interagency HIV Study with longitudinally collected risk factor data and sera. Cases were HIV-infected women with stored sera collected at three time-windows 3–5 years, 1–3 years, and 0–1 year prior to AIDS-NHL diagnosis (n=22). Three to six HIV-infected controls, without AIDS-NHL, were matched to each case on age, race, CD4+ T cell count, and study follow-up time (n=78). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between one unit increase in log-transformed biomarker levels and AIDS-NHL were computed using random effect multivariate logistic regression models.
Results
Elevated levels of sCD27 (OR=7.21, 95% CI=2.62–19.88), sCD30 (OR=2.64, 95% CI=1.24–5.64), and CXCL13 (OR=2.56, 95% CI=1.32–4.96) were associated with subsequent diagnosis of AIDS-NHL overall. Elevated sCD23 was associated with a 2-to 4-fold increased risk of AIDS-NHL in certain subgroups, while elevated IL6 was associated with a 2-fold increased risk in the 0–1 year time-window, only.
Conclusion
These findings support the hypothesis that chronic B cell activation contributes to the development of AIDS-NHL in women.
Impact
sCD23, sCD27, sCD30, and CXCL13 may serve as biomarkers for AIDS-NHL.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0614
PMCID: PMC3833437  PMID: 24045923
lymphoma; B cell; cytokines; AIDS; immune activation
9.  Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in TrkB and Risk for Depression: Findings from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) are more likely than non-infected individuals to develop depression. HIV lowers brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophic factor whose receptors play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of depression. Therefore, we examined whether a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the BDNF gene (rs56164415) and related receptors TrkB (rs1212171) and p75NTR (rs2072446) were associated with depression in HIV infected individuals. 1365 HIV positive and 371 HIV negative female subjects were included. The distribution of alleles was analyzed independently in African-Americans (non-Hispanic) and Caucasians (non-Hispanic). We have found that the absence of depressive symptoms in HIV positive subjects is associated with a genetic variation of the TrkB but not BDNF or p75NTR genes. This mutation explains 0.8% and 4.4% of the variability for the absence of depression in African-Americans and Caucasians, respectively.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a468e9
PMCID: PMC3780967  PMID: 24047966
association studies; BDNF; HIV-1; p75NTR; rs1212171; rs2072446
10.  The Impact of HIV Status, HIV Disease Progression and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Rwandan Women Genocide Survivors 
Purpose
We examined whether established associations between HIV disease and HIV disease progression on worse health-related quality of life (HQOL) were applicable to women with severe trauma histories, in this case Rwandan women genocide survivors, the majority of whom were HIV infected. Additionally, this study attempted to clarify whether post-traumatic stress symptoms were uniquely associated with HQOL or confounded with depression.
Methods
The Rwandan Women’s Interassociation Study and Assessment (RWISA) was a longitudinal prospective study of HIV-infected and uninfected women. At study entry 922 women (705 HIV+ and 217 HIV−) completed measures of symptoms of post-traumatic stress and HQOL as well as other demographic, clinical and behavioral characteristics.
Results
Even after controlling for potential confounders and mediators, HIV+ women, in particular those with the lowest CD4 counts, scored significantly worse on HQOL and overall QOL than did HIV− women. Even after controlling for depression and HIV disease progression, women with more post-traumatic stress symptoms scored worse on HQOL and overall QOL than women with fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated that post-traumatic stress symptoms were independently associated with HQOL and overall QOL, independent of depression and other confounders or potential mediators. Future research should examine whether the long term impact of treatment on physical and psychological symptoms of HIV and post-traumatic stress symptoms would generate improvement in HQOL.
doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0328-y
PMCID: PMC4084826  PMID: 23271207
Quality of Life; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; HIV; Women; Rwanda
11.  Cause-specific mortality among HIV-infected individuals, by CD4+ cell count at HAART initiation, compared with HIV-uninfected individuals 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(2):257-265.
Objectives
To compare the proportion, timing and hazards of non-AIDS death and AIDS death among men and women who initiated HAART at different CD4+ cell counts to mortality risks of HIV-uninfected persons with similar risk factors.
Design
Prospective cohort studies.
Methods
We used parametric mixture models to compare proportions of AIDS and non-AIDS mortality and ages at death, and multivariable Cox models to compare cause-specific hazards of mortality, across levels of CD4+ cell count at HAART initiation (≤200 cells/μl: ‘late’, 201–350 cells/μl: ‘intermediate’, >350 cells/μl: ‘early’) and with HIV-uninfected individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. We used multiple imputation methods to address lead-time bias in sensitivity analysis.
Results
Earlier initiators were more likely to die of non-AIDS causes (early: 78%, intermediate: 74%, late: 49%), and at older ages (median years 72, 69, 66), relative to later initiators. Estimated median ages at non-AIDS death for each CD4+ cell count category were lower than that estimated for the HIV-uninfected group (75 years). In multivariable analysis, non-AIDS death hazard ratios relative to early initiators were 2.15 for late initiators (P < 0.01) and 1.66 for intermediate initiators (P = 0.01); AIDS death hazard ratios were 3.26 for late initiators (P <0.01) and 1.20 for intermediate initiators (P = 0.28). Strikingly, the adjusted hazards for non-AIDS death among HIV-uninfected individuals and early initiators were nearly identical (hazard ratio 1.01). Inferences were unchanged after adjustment for lead-time bias.
Conclusion
Results suggest the possibility of reducing the risk of non-AIDS mortality among HIV-infected individuals to approximate that faced by comparable HIV-uninfected individuals.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000078
PMCID: PMC4164055  PMID: 24105030
antiretroviral therapy; bias; CD4+ cell count; cohort studies; competing risks; mortality; statistical
12.  Microbial Translocation and Liver Disease Progression in Women Coinfected With HIV and Hepatitis C Virus 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(4):679-689.
Background. Microbial translocation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. We sought to determine whether markers of microbial translocation are associated with liver disease progression during coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Methods. We measured serial plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS), endotoxin core antibody, intestinal fatty acid–binding protein (I-FABP), soluble CD14 (sCD14), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels over a 5-year period in 44 HIV/HCV-coinfected women, 21 of whom experienced liver disease progression and 23 were nonprogressors.
Results. While LPS levels did not differ significantly over time between progressors and nonprogressors (P = .60), progressors had significantly higher plasma levels of sCD14, a marker of monocyte activation by LPS, at the first time point measured (P = .03) and throughout the study period (P = .001); progressors also had higher IL-6 and I-FABP levels over the 5-year study period (P = .02 and .03, respectively). The associations between progression and sCD14, I-FABP, and IL-6 levels were unchanged in models controlling for HIV RNA and CD4+ T-cell count.
Conclusions. Although LPS levels did not differ between liver disease progressors and nonprogressors, the association of sCD14, I-FABP, and IL-6 levels with liver disease progression suggests that impairment of gut epithelial integrity and consequent microbial translocation may play a role in the complex interaction of HIV and HCV pathogenesis.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit225
PMCID: PMC3719907  PMID: 23687224
HIV; hepatitis C; microbial translocation; fibrosis; liver disease progression; soluble CD14
13.  Free Glycogen in Vaginal Fluids Is Associated with Lactobacillus Colonization and Low Vaginal pH 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102467.
Objective
Lactobacillus dominates the lower genital tract microbiota of many women, producing a low vaginal pH, and is important for healthy pregnancy outcomes and protection against several sexually transmitted pathogens. Yet, factors that promote Lactobacillus remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that the amount of free glycogen in the lumen of the lower genital tract is an important determinant of Lactobacillus colonization and a low vaginal pH.
Methods
Free glycogen in lavage samples was quantified. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was used to identify microbiota from 21 African American women collected over 8–11 years.
Results
Free glycogen levels varied greatly between women and even in the same woman. Samples with the highest free glycogen had a corresponding median genital pH that was significantly lower (pH 4.4) than those with low glycogen (pH 5.8; p<0.001). The fraction of the microbiota consisting of Lactobacillus was highest in samples with high glycogen versus those with low glycogen (median = 0.97 vs. 0.05, p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, having 1 vs. 0 male sexual partner in the past 6 months was negatively associated, while BMI ≥30 was positively associated with glycogen. High concentrations of glycogen corresponded to higher levels of L. crispatus and L. jensenii, but not L. iners.
Conclusion
These findings show that free glycogen in genital fluid is associated with a genital microbiota dominated by Lactobacillus, suggesting glycogen is important for maintaining genital health. Treatments aimed at increasing genital free glycogen might impact Lactobacillus colonization.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102467
PMCID: PMC4102502  PMID: 25033265
14.  Critical Consciousness, Racial and Gender Discrimination, and HIV Disease Markers in African American Women with HIV 
AIDS and behavior  2014;18(7):1237-1246.
Critical consciousness, the awareness of social oppression, is important to investigate as a buffer against HIV disease progression in HIV-infected African American women in the context of experiences with discrimination. Critical consciousness comprises several dimensions, including social group identification, discontent with distribution of social power, rejection of social system legitimacy, and a collective action orientation. The current study investigated self-reported critical consciousness as a moderator of perceived gender and racial discrimination on HIV viral load and CD4+ cell count in 67 African American HIV-infected women. Higher critical consciousness was found to be related to higher likelihood of having CD4+ counts over 350 and lower likelihood of detectable viral load when perceived racial discrimination was high, as revealed by multiple logistic regressions that controlled for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence. Multiple linear regressions showed that at higher levels of perceived gender and racial discrimination, women endorsing high critical consciousness had a larger positive difference between nadir CD4+ (lowest pre-HAART) and current CD4+ count than women endorsing low critical consciousness. These findings suggest that raising awareness of social oppression to promote joining with others to enact social change may be an important intervention strategy to improve HIV outcomes in African American HIV-infected women who report experiencing high levels of gender and racial discrimination.
doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0621-y
PMCID: PMC4010552  PMID: 24077930
Critical consciousness; HIV; African American women; Protective factor; Perceived racial discrimination; Perceived gender discrimination
15.  Alcohol consumption trajectory patterns in adult women with HIV infection 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(5):1705-1712.
HIV-infected women with excessive alcohol consumption are at risk for adverse health outcomes, but little is known about their long-term drinking trajectories. This analysis included longitudinal data, obtained from 1996–2006, from 2791 women with HIV from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Among these women, the proportion in each of five distinct drinking trajectories was: continued heavy drinking (3%), reduction from heavy to non-heavy drinking (4%), increase from non-heavy to heavy drinking (8%), continued non-heavy drinking (36%), and continued non-drinking (49%). Depressive symptoms, other substance use (crack/cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco), co-infection with HCV, and heavy drinking prior to enrollment were associated with trajectories involving future heavy drinking. In conclusion, many women with HIV change their drinking patterns over time. Clinicians and those providing alcohol-related interventions might target those with depression, current use of tobacco or illicit drugs, HCV infection, or a previous history of drinking problems.
doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0270-6
PMCID: PMC3534826  PMID: 22836592
Alcohol consumption; women; HIV-infection; trajectories
16.  Vitamin D and Insulin Resistance in Non-Diabetic Women's Interagency HIV Study Participants 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2013;27(6):320-325.
Abstract
We explored the relationship between vitamin D levels and insulin resistance (IR) among 1082 nondiabetic (754 HIV-infected) women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV study (WIHS), a large and well-established cohort of HIV infected and uninfected women in the US. Vitamin D levels 20–29 ng/mL were considered insufficient and <20 ng/mL deficient. IR was estimated using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) and a clinically significant cut-off ≥2.6 was used for HOMA-IR. In the unadjusted analysis, women who were vitamin D insufficient or deficient were 1.62 (95% CI: 1.01–2.61, p=0.05) and 1.70 (95% CI: 1.11–2.60, p=0.02) times more likely to have HOMA values≥2.6 compared to women with sufficient vitamin D. The association did not remain significant after adjustment for factors associated with IR. Among the 754 HIV-infected women, current PI use (OR 1.61, 95% CI: 1.13–2.28, p=0.008) remained independently associated with HOMA ≥2.6 while vitamin D insufficiency (OR 1.80, 95% CI: 0.99–3.27, p=0.05) was marginally associated with HOMA ≥2.6 after adjustment. Ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status, and hepatitis C status were independently associated with insulin resistance in HIV-infected and uninfected women. We found a marginally significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and insulin resistance among nondiabetic HIV-infected WIHS women.
doi:10.1089/apc.2012.0400
PMCID: PMC3671624  PMID: 23675750
17.  Do HIV-Positive Women Receive Depression Treatment that Meets Best Practice Guidelines? 
AIDS and behavior  2014;18(6):1094-1102.
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.
doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0679-6
PMCID: PMC4020946  PMID: 24402689
Women and HIV; Depression Treatment; Psychopharmacology; Psychotherapy
18.  Comparison of Lower Genital Tract Microbiota in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Women from Rwanda and the US 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96844.
Introduction
Previous studies have shown that alterations of the bacterial microbiota in the lower female genital tract influence susceptibility to HIV infection and shedding. We assessed geographic differences in types of genital microbiota between HIV-infected and uninfected women from Rwanda and the United States.
Methods
Genera of lower genital tract bacterial microbiota were identified by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from 46 US women (36 HIV-infected, 10 HIV-uninfected) and 40 Rwandan women (18 HIV-infected, 22 HIV-uninfected) with similar proportions of low (0–3) Nugent scores. Species of Lactobacillus were identified by assembling sequences along with reference sequences into phylogenetic trees. Prevalence of genera and Lactobacillus species were compared using Fisher's exact tests.
Results
Overall the seven most prevalent genera were Lactobacillus (74%), Prevotella (56%), Gardnerella (55%), Atopobium (42%), Sneathia (37%), Megasphaera (30%), and Parvimonas (26%), observed at similar prevalences comparing Rwandan to US women, except for Megasphaera (20% vs. 39%, p = 0.06). Additionally, Rwandan women had higher frequencies of Mycoplasma (23% vs. 7%, p = 0.06) and Eggerthella (13% vs. 0%, p = 0.02), and lower frequencies of Lachnobacterium (8% vs. 35%, p<0.01) and Allisonella (5% vs. 30%, p<0.01), compared with US women. The prevalence of Mycoplasma was highest (p<0.05) in HIV-infected Rwandan women (39%), compared to HIV-infected US women (6%), HIV-uninfected Rwandan (9%) and US (10%) women. The most prevalent lactobacillus species in both Rwandan and US women was L. iners (58% vs. 76%, p = 0.11), followed by L. crispatus (28% vs. 30%, p = 0.82), L. jensenii (20% vs. 24%, p = 0.80), L. gasseri (20% vs. 11%, p = 0.37) and L. vaginalis (20% vs. 7%, p = 0.10).
Discussion
We found similar prevalence of most major bacterial genera and Lactobacillus species in Rwandan and US women. Further work will be needed to establish whether observed differences differentially impact lower genital tract health or susceptibility to genital infections.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096844
PMCID: PMC4016010  PMID: 24817204
19.  Illicit Drug Use, Depression and their Association with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-Positive Women 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2007;89(1):74-81.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.12.002
PMCID: PMC4009351  PMID: 17291696
HIV; depression; HAART; drug use
20.  HIV and Recent Illicit Drug Use Interact to Affect Verbal Memory in Women 
Objective
HIV infection and illicit drug use are each associated with diminished cognitive performance. This study examined the separate and interactive effects of HIV and recent illicit drug use on verbal memory, processing speed and executive function in the multicenter Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Methods
Participants included 952 HIV-infected and 443 HIV-uninfected women (mean age=42.8, 64% African-American). Outcome measures included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test - Revised (HVLT-R) and the Stroop test. Three drug use groups were compared: recent illicit drug users (cocaine or heroin use in past 6 months, n=140), former users (lifetime cocaine or heroin use but not in past 6 months, n=651), and non-users (no lifetime use of cocaine or heroin, n=604).
Results
The typical pattern of recent drug use was daily or weekly smoking of crack cocaine. HIV infection and recent illicit drug use were each associated with worse verbal learning and memory (p's<.05). Importantly, there was an interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use such that recent illicit drug use (compared to non-use) negatively impacted verbal learning and memory only in HIV-infected women (p's <0.01). There was no interaction between HIV serostatus and illicit drug use on processing speed or executive function on the Stroop test.
Conclusion
The interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use on verbal learning and memory suggests a potential synergistic neurotoxicity that may affect the neural circuitry underlying performance on these tasks.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318289565c
PMCID: PMC3628722  PMID: 23392462
21.  Antiretroviral-Treated HIV-Infected Women Have Similar Long-Term Kidney Function Trajectories as HIV-Uninfected Women 
Abstract
Natural history studies suggest increased risk for kidney function decline with HIV infection, but few studies have made comparisons with HIV-uninfected women. We examined whether HIV infection treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains associated with faster kidney function decline in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. HIV-infected women initiating HAART with (n=105) or without (n=373) tenofovir (TDF) were matched to HIV-uninfected women on calendar and length of follow-up, age, systolic blood pressure, hepatitis C antibody serostatus, and diabetes history. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate differences in annual estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Person-visits were 4,741 and 11,512 for the TDF-treated and non-TDF-treated analyses, respectively. Mean baseline eGFRs were higher among women initiated on TDF-containing HAART and lower among those on TDF-sparing HAART compared to their respective HIV-uninfected matches (p<0.05 for both). HIV-infected women had annual rates of eGFR changes similar to HIV-uninfected matches (p-interaction >0.05 for both). Adjusting for baseline eGFR, mean eGFRs at 1 and 3 years of follow-up among women initiated on TDF-containing HAART were lower than their uninfected matches (−4.98 and −4.26 ml/min/1.73 m2, respectively; p<0.05 for both). Mean eGFR of women initiated on TDF-sparing HAART was lower versus uninfected matches at 5 years (–2.19 ml/min/1.73 m2, p=0.03). HAART-treated HIV-infected women had lower mean eGFRs at follow-up but experienced rates of annual eGFR decline similar to HIV-uninfected women. Tenofovir use in HIV-infected women with normal kidney function did not accelerate long-term kidney function decline relative to HIV-uninfected women.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0248
PMCID: PMC3636577  PMID: 23273313
22.  Tenofovir use and urinary biomarkers among HIV-infected women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Background
Tenofovir has been associated with renal tubular injury. Biomarkers that signal early tubular dysfunction are needed because creatinine rise lags behind tenofovir-associated kidney dysfunction. We examined several urinary biomarkers to determine if rises accompanying tenofovir initiation preceded creatinine changes.
Methods
Three urinary biomarkers of tubular impairment- neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), N-acetyl- β -D-glucosaminidase (NAG), and β-2-microglobulin (β2MG)-were measured across three time points (one pre-tenofovir visit and two post tenofovir visits) in one hundred and thirty two HIV-positive women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Women initiating HAART containing tenofovir were propensity score matched to women initiating HAART without tenofovir and women not on HAART.
Results
There were no differences between groups for NGAL or NAG but β2MG was 19 times more likely to be elevated among tenofovir users at the 2nd post tenofovir visit compared to non-TDF users at the pre-tenofovir visit (p<0.01). History of proteinuria was associated with elevated NGAL (p <0.01). Factors associated with elevated NAG were GFR<60 ml/min, history of proteinuria, hepatitis C (p<0.01 for all) and diabetes mellitus (p=0.05). Factors associated with increased odds of elevated β2MG were HIV RNA>100,000 copies/ml, hepatitis C, boosted protease inhibitor (PI) use, and GFR<60 ml/min (p≤0.01 for all).
Conclusions
β2MG levels are elevated in women on tenofovir indicating probable early renal dysfunction. Biomarker elevation is additionally associated with baseline chronic kidney disease, uncontrolled viremia, and boosted PI use. Future studies are needed to explore urinary biomarker thresholds in identifying treated HIV-infected individuals at risk for renal dysfunction.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31828175c9
PMCID: PMC3692572  PMID: 23254151
Tenofovir; urinary biomarkers; HIV infected women
23.  Host APOL1 genotype is independently associated with proteinuria in HIV infection 
Kidney international  2013;84(4):834-840.
Proteinuria is associated with adverse clinical outcomes in HIV infection. Here we evaluated whether APOL1 risk alleles, previously associated with advanced kidney disease, is independently associated with proteinuria in HIV infection in a cross-sectional study of HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. We estimated the percent difference in urine protein excretion and odds of proteinuria (200 mg/g and higher) associated with two versus one or no APOL1 risk allele using linear and logistic regression, respectively. Of 1285 women successfully genotyped, 379 carried one and 80 carried two risk alleles. Proteinuria was present in 124 women; 78 of whom had proteinuria confirmed on a second sample. In women without prior AIDS, two risk alleles were independently associated with a 69% higher urine protein excretion (95% CI: 36%, 108%) and 5-fold higher odds of proteinuria (95% CI: 2.45, 10.37) versus one or no risk allele. No association was found in women with prior AIDS. Analyses in which women with impaired kidney function were excluded and proteinuria was confirmed by a second urine sample yielded similar estimates. Thus, APOL1 risk alleles are associated with significant proteinuria in HIV-infected persons without prior clinical AIDS, independent of clinical factors traditionally associated with proteinuria. Trials are needed to determine whether APOL1 genotyping identifies individuals who could benefit from earlier intervention to prevent overt renal disease.
doi:10.1038/ki.2013.203
PMCID: PMC3788838  PMID: 23715117
24.  Does HIV infection promote early kidney injury in women? 
Antiviral therapy  2013;19(1):79-87.
Background
In HIV-infected women, urine concentrations of novel tubulointerstitial injury markers, interleukin-18 (IL-18) and kidney injury marker-1 (KIM-1) are associated with kidney function decline and all-cause mortality. We hypothesized that HIV-infected individuals with preserved kidney filtration function would have more extensive kidney injury, as determined by urine injury markers, compared to the uninfected controls, and that risk factors for tubulointerstitial injury would differ from risk factors for albuminuria.
Methods
In this cross-sectional study, we compared urine concentrations of IL-18, KIM-1, and ACR in 908 HIV-infected and 289 HIV-uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study, utilizing stored urine specimens from visits between 1999 and 2000.
Results
After multivariate-adjusted linear regression analysis, mean urine concentrations were higher in HIV-infected individuals by 38% for IL-18 (p<0.0001), 12% for KIM-1 (p=0.081), and 47% for ACR (p<0.0001). Higher HIV RNA level (15% per 10-fold increase, p<0.0001), lower CD4 count (8% per doubling, p=0.0025), HCV infection (30%, p=0.00018), and lower HDL (5% per 10 mg/dL, p=0.0024) were each associated with higher IL-18 concentrations. In contrast, hypertension (81%, p<0.0001) and diabetes (47%, p=0.018) were among the strongest predictors of higher ACR, though HIV RNA level (15% per 10-fold increase, p=0.0004) was also associated with higher ACR.
Conclusions
HIV-infected women had more extensive tubulointerstitial and glomerular injury than uninfected women, but the associated factors differed among the urine biomarkers. Combinations of urinary biomarkers should be investigated to further characterize early kidney injury in HIV-infected women.
doi:10.3851/IMP2677
PMCID: PMC3933452  PMID: 23970313
25.  Underlying genetic structure impacts the association between CYP2B6 polymorphisms and response to efavirenz and nevirapine 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(16):2097-2106.
Objective
CYP2B6 variation predicts pharmacokinetic characteristics of its substrates. Consideration for underlying genetic structure is critical to protect against spurious associations with the highly polymorphic CYP2B6 gene.
Design
The effect of CYP2B6 variation on response to its substrates, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), was explored in the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Methods
Five putative functional polymorphisms were tested for associations with virologic suppression within one year after NNRTI initiation in women naïve to antiretroviral agents (n=91). Principal components (PCs) were generated to control for population substructure. Logistic regression was used to test the joint effect of rs3745274 and rs28399499, which together indicate slow, intermediate, and extensive metabolizers.
Results
Rs3745274 was significantly associated with virologic suppression (OR=3.61, 95% CI 1.16-11.22, p trend=0.03); the remaining polymorphisms tested were not significantly associated with response. Women classified as intermediate and slow metabolizers were 2.90 (95% CI 0.79-12.28) and 13.44 (95% CI 1.66-infinity) times as likely to achieve virologic suppression compared to extensive metabolizers after adjustment for PCs (p trend=0.005). Failure to control for genetic ancestry resulted in substantial confounding of the relationship between the metabolizer phenotype and treatment response.
Conclusion
The CYP2B6 metabolizer phenotype was significantly associated with virologic response to NNRTIs; this relationship would have been masked by simple adjustment for self-reported ethnicity. Given the appreciable genetic heterogeneity that exists within self-reported ethnicity, these results exemplify the importance of characterizing underlying genetic structure in pharmacogenetic studies. Further follow-up of the CYP2B6 metabolizer phenotype is warranted given the potential clinical importance of this finding.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283593602
PMCID: PMC3940150  PMID: 22951632
CYP2B6; population substructure; women; NNRTIs; confounding

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