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1.  Menstrual cycle phase and single tablet antiretroviral medication adherence in women with HIV 
AIDS care  2015;28(1):11-21.
Suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy among HIV-infected individuals is associated with increased risk of progression to AIDS and the development of HIV resistance to ARV medications. To examine whether the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is independently associated with suboptimal adherence to single tablet regimen (STR) ARV medication, data were analyzed from a multicenter cohort study of HIV-infected women who reported regular menstrual cycles and were taking a STR. In a cross-sectional analysis, suboptimal adherence to a STR among women in their follicular phase was compared with suboptimal adherence among women in their luteal phase. In two-way crossover analyses, whereby the same woman was assessed for STR medication adherence in both her follicular and luteal phases, the estimated exact conditional odds of non-adherence to a STR was measured. In adjusted logistic regression analysis of the cross-sectional data (N=327), women with ≤12 years of education were more than 3-times more likely to have suboptimal adherence (OR=3.6, p=0.04) compared to those with >12 years of education. Additionally, women with Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) scores ≥23 were 2.5-times more likely to have suboptimal adherence (OR=2.6, p=0.02) compared to those with CES-D scores <23. In conditional logistic regression analyses of the crossover data (N=184), having childcare responsibilities was associated with greater odds of ≤95% adherence. Menstrual cycle phase was not associated with STR adherence in either the cross-sectional or crossover analyses. The lack of association between phase of the menstrual cycle and adherence to a STR in HIV-infected women means attention can be given to other more important risk factors for suboptimal adherence, such as depression, level of education, and childcare responsibilities.
PMCID: PMC4713239  PMID: 26274806
HIV; medication adherence; menstrual phase; women
2.  Gender-related risk factors improve mortality predictive ability of VACS Index among HIV-infected women 
Adding gender-related modifiable characteristics or behaviors to the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Index might improve the accuracy of predicting mortality among HIV-infected women on treatment. We evaluated the VACS Index in women with HIV, determined whether additional variables would improve mortality prediction, and quantified the potential for improved survival associated with reduction in these additional risk factors.
The VACS Index (based on age, CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA, hemoglobin, AST, ALT, platelets, creatinine and Hepatitis C status) was validated in HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) who initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) between January 1996 and December 2007. Models were constructed adding race, depression, abuse, smoking, substance use, transactional sex, and comorbidities to determine whether predictability improved. Population attributable fractions were calculated.
The VACS Index accurately predicted 5-year mortality in 1057 WIHS women with 1 year on HAART with c-index 0.83 (95% CI 0.79–0.87). In multivariate analysis, the VACS Index score (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] for 5-point increment 1.30; 95% CI 1.25–1.35), depressive symptoms (aHR 1.73; 95% CI 1.17–2.56) and history of transactional sex (aHR 1.93; 95% CI 1.33–1.82) were independent statistically significant predictors of mortality.
Including depression and transactional sex significantly improved the performance of the VACS Index in predicting mortality among HIV-infected women. Providing treatment for depression and addressing economic and psychosocial instability in HIV infected women would improve health and perhaps point to a broader public health approach to reducing HIV mortality.
PMCID: PMC4644433  PMID: 26284531
HIV; Women; Mortality; Depression; Transactional Sex
3.  CCR5 Expression Levels in HIV-Uninfected Women Receiving Hormonal Contraception 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2015;212(9):1397-1401.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infectivity increases as receptor/coreceptor expression levels increase. We determined peripheral CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 expression levels in HIV-uninfected women who used depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA; n = 32), the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD; n = 27), oral contraceptive pills (n = 32), or no hormonal contraception (n = 33). The use of LNG-IUD increased the proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that expressed CCR5; increases in the magnitude of T-cell subset CCR5 expression were observed with DMPA and LNG-IUD use (P < .01 for all comparisons). LNG-IUD and, to a lesser extent, DMPA use were associated with increased peripheral T-cell CCR5 expression.
PMCID: PMC4601918  PMID: 25895986
HIV-1; hormonal contraception; CCR5; medroxyprogesterone acetate; levonorgestrel; oral contraceptive pills; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; CD4; CXCR4
4.  Increased fracture incidence in middle-aged HIV-infected and uninfected women: updated results from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
We previously reported that fracture incidence rates did not differ by HIV status among predominantly premenopausal Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) participants. We now conduct a follow-up study with 5 additional observation years, to further characterize fracture risk associated with HIV infection in women as they age.
We measured time to first new fracture at any site in 2375 (1713 HIV-infected, 662 HIV-uninfected) WIHS participants, with median 10 years follow-up. Fractures were self-reported semiannually. Proportional Hazards models assessed predictors of incident fracture.
At index visit, HIV-infected women were older (median age 40 yrs (IQR 34–46) vs. 35 (27–43), p<0.0001) and more likely to be postmenopausal, HCV-infected, and weigh less than HIV-uninfected women. Among HIV-infected women, mean CD4+ count was 480 cells/µL and 63% were taking HAART. Unadjusted incidence rates of any fracture were higher in HIV-infected than uninfected women (2.19/100 person-years (py) vs 1.54/100py, p=0.002). In multivariate models, HIV status, older age, white (vs. black) race, prior fracture, history of cocaine use, and history of injection drug use were significant predictors of incident fracture. Among HIV-infected women, age, white race, prior fracture, smoking, and prior AIDS were predictors of new fracture.
Middle-aged HIV-infected women had a higher adjusted fracture rate than uninfected women. Cocaine use and injection drug use were also associated with a greater risk of incident fracture. Further research is needed to understand whether the risk of fracture associated with cocaine use relates to increased rate of falls, or direct effects on bone metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4557627  PMID: 26322667
HIV; women; bone; fracture; fragility fracture
5.  Dysregulated B-cell TLR2 expression and Elevated Regulatory B cell frequency precede the diagnosis of AIDS-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma 
AIDS (London, England)  2015;29(13):1659-1664.
In Antiretroviral therapy (ART)-treated subjects, to determine if AIDS-related Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (AIDS-NHL) is preceded by: i) elevated frequency of potentially malignant abnormal activated/ Germinal center (GC)-like B cells, ii) elevated serum prevalence of B-cell stimulatory TLR-ligands resulting from HIV-infection associated microbial translocation, iii) dysregulated B-cell TLR expression/signaling and iv) perturbations in the frequency of immunoregulatory cells.
A case-control study nested with a cohort study of HIV-infected women.
Pre-diagnostic AIDS-NHL cases (n=14, collected 1-12 months pre diagnosis) and controls (n=42) from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) cohort, were matched for HIV and ART status, age, race, and CD4 lymphocyte count. Serum levels of TLR ligands, the prevalence of malignancy-associated abnormal activated/GC-like (CD19+CD10+CD71+CD86+AID+) B cells, TLR2 expression on B cells, expression of TLR2-modulating micro-RNA, and the frequency of regulatory T and B cells were assessed.
Diagnosis of AIDS-NHL was preceded by a significantly elevated frequency of activated/GC-like CD19+CD10+CD71+CD86+AID+ B cells (p=0.0072), elevated serum prevalence of TLR2-ligand and significantly elevated B-cell TLR2 expression (p=0.0015), positively correlating with the frequency of activated/GC-like B cells (rho=0.7273, p=0.0144). In cases, a purified subset of activated/GC-like B cells exhibited decreased expression of micro-RNAs that modulate TLR2-signaling, including: miR-21, 146a, 146b and 155. Finally, cases also exhibited significantly elevated frequencies of anti-tumor immunity inhibitory regulatory B cells (p=0.0024) but not regulatory T cells.
Our findings suggest that increased microbial translocation and dysregulated TLR expression/signaling, coupled with an elevated frequency of Bregs precede the diagnosis of AIDS-NHL in HIV-infected ART-treated subjects.
PMCID: PMC4825805  PMID: 26372276
HIV; non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); Toll-like receptor; regulatory B cells; microRNA; microbial translocation
6.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) modulates the associations between insulin resistance and cognition in the current combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) era: A study of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Journal of neurovirology  2015;21(4):415-421.
Cognitive impairment (CI) remains common despite access to cART; it has been linked to HIV-specific, HIV-related and HIV-unrelated factors. Insulin resistance (IR) was associated with CI in the early cART era, when antiretroviral medications had greater mitochondrial and metabolic toxicity. We sought to examine these relationships in the current cART era of reduced antiretroviral toxicities. This study examined IR among non-diabetics in relation to a one-hour neuropsychological test battery among 994 women (659 HIV-infected and 335 HIV-uninfected controls) assessed between 2009 and 2011. The mean (Standard Deviation, SD) age of the sample was 45.1 (9.3) years. The HIV-infected sample had a median interquartile range (IQR) Cluster of Differentiation 4 (CD4) T-lymphocyte count of 502 (310-727) cells/μL and 54% had undetectable plasma HIV RNA levels. Among all, the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) of IR ranged from 0.25 to 37.14. In adjusted models, increasing HOMA was significantly associated with reduced performance on Letter Number Sequencing (LNS) attention task (β=-0.10, p<0.01) and on Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) recognition (β=-0.10, p<0.01) with weaker but statistically significant associations on phonemic fluency (β=-0.09, p=0.01). An HIV*HOMA interaction effect was identified on the LNS attention task and Stroop trials 1 and 2, with worse performance in HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected women. In separate analyses, cohort members who had diabetes mellitus (DM) performed worse on the grooved pegboard test of psychomotor speed and manual dexterity. These findings confirm associations between both IR and DM on some neuropsychological tests and identify an interaction between HIV status and IR.
PMCID: PMC4511712  PMID: 25740539
HIV; Insulin Resistance; Dementia; Cognition; cART
7.  Resilience Moderates the Association between Childhood Sexual Abuse and Depressive Symptoms Among Women with and At-Risk for HIV 
AIDS and behavior  2015;19(8):1379-1387.
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) places women at risk for HIV infection and once infected, for poor mental health outcomes, including lower quality of life and depressive symptoms. Among HIV-positive and demographically matched HIV-negative women, we investigated whether resilience and HIV status moderated the relationships between CSA and health indices as well as the relationships among CSA, depressive symptoms, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Participants included 202 women (138 HIV+, 64 HIV−, 87% African American) from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Chicago CORE Center site. Results indicated that in both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women, higher resilience significantly related to lower depressive symptoms and higher HRQOL. CSA related to higher depressive symptoms only for women scoring low in resilience. Interventions to promote resilience, especially in women with a CSA history, might minimize depressive symptoms and poor HRQOL among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women.
PMCID: PMC4314513  PMID: 25085079
resilience; childhood sexual abuse; HIV; depressive symptoms; quality of life
8.  Sexual behavior and risk practices of HIV positive and HIV negative Rwandan women 
AIDS and behavior  2015;19(7):1366-1378.
It is not well understood how infection with HIV and prior experience of sexual violence affects sexual behavior in African women. We describe factors influencing current sexual practices of Rwandan women living with or without HIV/AIDS. By design, 75% of participants were HIV positive and ~50% reported having experienced genocidal rape. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were fit to describe demographic and clinical characteristics that influenced sexual behavior in the previous 6 months, condom use, history of transactional sex, and prior infection with a non-HIV sexually transmitted disease. Respondents’ age, where they lived, whether or not they lived with a husband or partner, experience of sexual trauma, CD4 count, CES-D and PTSD scores were strongly associated with risky sexual behavior and infection with non-HIV STI. HIV positive women with a history of sexual violence in the contexts of war and conflict may be susceptible to some high-risk sexual behaviors.
PMCID: PMC4461563  PMID: 25488169
HIV/AIDS; Sexual behavior; Sexual Trauma; Genocide; Rwanda
AIDS (London, England)  2015;29(10):1183-1193.
To determine the lung cancer incidence and survival time among HIV-infected and uninfected women and men.
Two longitudinal studies of HIV infection in the United States.
Data from 2,549 women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and 4,274 men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), all with a history of cigarette smoking, were analyzed. Lung cancer incidence rates and incidence rate ratios were calculated using Poisson regression analyses. Survival time was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard analyses.
Thirty-seven women and 23 men developed lung cancer (46 HIV-infected and 14 HIV-uninfected) during study follow-up. In multivariable analyses, the factors that were found to be independently associated with a higher lung cancer incidence rate ratios were older age, less education, 10 or more pack-years of smoking, and a prior diagnosis of AIDS pneumonia (vs. HIV-uninfected women). In an adjusted Cox model that allowed for different hazard functions for each cohort, a history of injection drug use was associated with shorter survival, and a lung cancer diagnosis after 2001 was associated with longer survival. In an adjusted Cox model restricted to HIV-infected participants, nadir CD4 lymphocyte cell count <200 was associated with shorter survival time.
Our data suggest that pulmonary damage and inflammation associated with HIV infection may be etiologic for the increased risk of lung cancer. Encouraging and assisting younger HIV-infected smokers to quit and to sustain cessation of smoking is imperative to reduce the lung cancer burden in this population.
PMCID: PMC4457511  PMID: 25888645
AIDS; HIV infection; incidence; lung cancer; survival
10.  APOL1 Genotype and Glomerular and Tubular Kidney Injury in Women With HIV 
APOL1 genotype is associated with advanced kidney disease in African-Americans, but the pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. Here, associations of APOL1 genotype with urine biomarkers of glomerular and tubular injury, and with kidney function decline, were evaluated.
Study Design
Observational study.
Setting & Participants
431 HIV-infected African-American women enrolled in Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
APOL1 genotype.
Albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR), four tubular injury biomarkers (interleukin 18 [IL-18], kidney injury molecule 1 [KIM-1], neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin [NGAL], and α1-microglobulin [α1m]), and kidney function estimated using the CKD-EPI cystatin C equation.
Participants were genotyped for APOL1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs73885319 (G1 allele) and rs71785313 (G2 allele). Urine biomarker levels were measured using stored samples from 1999-2000. Cystatin C was measured using serum collected at baseline and 4- and 8-year follow-up.
At baseline, ACR levels were higher among 47 women with 2 APOL1 risk alleles versus 384 women with 0/1 risk allele (median, 24 vs. 11 mg/g; p < 0.001). Compared to women with 0/1 risk allele, women with 2 risk alleles had 104% higher ACR (95% CI, 29-223 mg/g) and 2-fold greater risk of ACR > 30 mg/g (95% CI, 1.17-3.44) after multivariable adjustment. APOL1 genotype showed little association with urine IL-18:Cr, KIM-1:Cr, and NGAL:Cr (estimates of -5% [95% CI, -24% to 18%], -20% [95% CI, -36% to 1%], and 10% [95% CI, -26% to 64%], respectively), or detectable urine α1m (prevalence ratio, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.65-1.97) in adjusted analyses. Compared to women with 0/1 allele, women with 2 risk alleles had faster eGFR decline, by 1.2 (95% CI, -2.2 to -0.2) ml/min/1.73 m2 per year, and had 1.7- and 3.4-fold greater rates of incident chronic kidney disease (95% CI, 1.1-2.5) and 10% annual eGFR decline (95% CI, 1.7-6.7), respectively, with minimal attenuation after adjustment for glomerular and tubular injury biomarkers.
Results may not be generalizable to men.
Among HIV-infected African-American women, APOL1-associated kidney injury appears to localize to the glomerulus, rather than the tubules.
PMCID: PMC4615696  PMID: 25921719
APOL1 genotype; risk variant; risk allele; G1 allele; G2 allele; single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR); proteinuria; tubular injury biomarker; apolipoprotein L1; kidney disease; renal function; glomerular injury; African American; Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)
11.  Mechanisms for the Negative Effects of Internalized HIV-Related Stigma on Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Women: The Mediating Roles of Social Isolation and Depression 
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
Internalization of HIV-related stigma may inhibit a person's ability to manage HIV disease through adherence to treatment regimens. Studies, mainly with white men, have suggested an association between internalized stigma and suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, there is a scarcity of research with women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds and on mediating mechanisms in the association between internalized stigma and ART adherence.
The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is a multicenter cohort study. Women living with HIV complete interviewer-administered questionnaires semiannually. Cross-sectional analyses for the current article included 1168 women on ART for whom data on medication adherence were available from their last study visit between April 2013 and March 2014, when the internalized stigma measure was initially introduced.
The association between internalized stigma and self-reported suboptimal ART adherence was significant for those in racial/ethnic minority groups (AOR = 0.69, P = 0.009, 95% CI: 0.52 to 0.91), but not for non-Hispanic whites (AOR = 2.15, P = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.69 to 6.73). Depressive symptoms, loneliness, and low perceived social support mediated the association between internalized stigma and suboptimal adherence in the whole sample, as well as in the subsample of minority participants. In serial mediation models, internalized stigma predicted less-perceived social support (or higher loneliness), which in turn predicted more depressive symptoms, which in turn predicted suboptimal medication adherence.
Findings suggest that interconnected psychosocial mechanisms affect ART adherence, and that improvements in adherence may require multifaceted interventions addressing both mental health and interpersonal factors, especially for minority women.
PMCID: PMC4868649  PMID: 26885803
adherence; stigma; depression; social support; loneliness
12.  Longitudinal Trends in Sexual Behaviors with Advancing Age and Menopause Among Women With and Without HIV-1 Infection 
AIDS and behavior  2015;19(5):931-940.
We assessed changes in self-reported sexual activity (SA) over 13 years among HIV-infected and uninfected women. The impact of aging and menopause on SA and unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (UAVI) was examined among women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), stratifying by HIV status and detectable viral load among HIV-infected women. Generalized mixed linear models were fitted for each outcome, adjusted for relevant covariates. HIV-uninfected women evidenced higher levels of SA and UAVI than HIV-infected. The odds of SA declined by 62–64 % per decade of age. The odds of SA in a 6-month interval for women aged 40–57 declined by 18–22 % post-menopause (controlling for age). Among HIV+/detectable women only, the odds of any UAVI decreased by 17 % per decade of age; the odds of UAVI were unchanged pre-menopause, and then decreased by 28 % post-menopause. Elucidating the factors accounting for ongoing unprotected sex among older women should inform interventions.
PMCID: PMC4370800  PMID: 25245474
Sexual activity; Sexual risk behaviors; Aging; Menopause; Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)
13.  Oral Glucose Tolerance Testing identifies HIV+ infected women with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) not captured by standard DM definition 
HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals may have differential risk of diabetes mellitus (DM) compared to the general population, and the optimal diagnostic algorithm for DM in HIV+ persons remains unclear. We aimed to assess the utility of oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) for DM diagnosis in a cohort of women with or at risk for HIV infection.
Using American Diabetic Association DM definitions, DM prevalence and incidence were assessed among women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. DM was defined by 2-hour OGTT ≥ 200 mg/dL (DM_OGTT) or a clinical definition (DM_C) that included any of the following: (i) anti-diabetic medication use or self-reported DM confirmed by either fasting glucose (FG) ≥126 mg/dL or HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, (ii) FG ≥ 126 mg/dL confirmed by a second FG ≥ 126 mg/dL or HbA1c 6.5%, or (iii) HbA1c 6.5% confirmed by FG ≥ 126 mg/dL cohort.
Overall, 390 women (285 HIV+, median age 43 years; 105 HIV−, median age 37 years) were enrolled between 2003-2006. Over half of all women were African American. Using DM_C, DM prevalence rates were 5.6% and 2.8% among HIV+ and HIV− women, respectively. Among HIV+ women, adding DM_OGTT to DM_C increased DM prevalence from 5.6% to 7.4%, a 31% increase in the number of diabetes cases diagnosed (p=0.02). In HIV− women, no additional cases were diagnosed by DM-OGTT.
In HIV+ women, OGTT identified DM cases that were not identified by a standardized clinical definition. Further investigation is needed to determine whether OGTT should be considered as an adjunctive tool for DM diagnosis in the setting of HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC4825684  PMID: 27066296
HIV; Women; Diabetes mellitus; Oral glucose tolerance test
14.  Post-traumatic stress is associated with verbal learning, memory, and psychomotor speed in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women 
Journal of neurovirology  2015;22(2):159-169.
The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher among HIV-infected (HIV+) women compared with HIV-uninfected (HIV−) women, and deficits in episodic memory are a common feature of both PTSD and HIV infection. We investigated the association between a probable PTSD diagnosis using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-C) version and verbal learning and memory using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test in 1004 HIV+ and 496 at-risk HIV− women. HIV infection was not associated with a probable PTSD diagnosis (17 % HIV+, 16 % HIV−; p=0.49) but was associated with lower verbal learning (p<0.01) and memory scores (p<0.01). Irrespective of HIV status, a probable PTSD diagnosis was associated with poorer performance in verbal learning (p<0.01) and memory (p<0.01) and psychomotor speed (p<0.001). The particular pattern of cognitive correlates of probable PTSD varied depending on exposure to sexual abuse and/or violence, with exposure to either being associated with a greater number of cognitive domains and a worse cognitive profile. A statistical interaction between HIV serostatus and PTSD was observed on the fine motor skills domain (p= 0.03). Among women with probable PTSD, HIV− women performed worse than HIV+ women on fine motor skills (p=0.01), but among women without probable PTSD, there was no significant difference in performance between the groups (p= 0.59). These findings underscore the importance of considering mental health factors as correlates to cognitive deficits in women with HIV.
PMCID: PMC4783199  PMID: 26404435
HIV; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Women; Cognition
15.  Genetic Predictor of Working Memory and Prefrontal Function in Women with HIV 
Journal of neurovirology  2014;21(1):81-91.
The Val158Met (rs4680) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) influences executive function and prefrontal function through its effect on dopamine (DA) metabolism. Both HIV and the Val allele of the Val158Met SNP are associated with compromised executive function and inefficient prefrontal function. The present study used behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to determine independent and interactive associations between HIV serostatus and COMT genotype on working memory and prefrontal function in women. For the behavioral study, 54 HIV-infected and 33 HIV-uninfected women completed the 0-, 1- and 2-back conditions of the verbal N-back, a working memory test. For the imaging study, 36 women (23 HIV-infected, 13 HIV-uninfected) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessments while completing the N-back task. HIV-infected women demonstrated significantly worse N-back performance compared to HIV-uninfected women (p<0.05). A significant serostatus by genotype interaction (p<0.01) revealed that, among Val/Val, but not Met allele carriers, HIV-infected women performed significantly worse than HIV-uninfected controls across N-back conditions (p<0.01). Analogous to behavioral findings, a serostatus by genotype interaction revealed that HIV-infected, Val/Val carriers showed significantly greater prefrontal activation compared to HIV-uninfected, Val/Val carriers (p<0.01). Conversely, HIV-uninfected, Met allele carriers demonstrated significantly greater prefrontal activation compared to HIV-infected, Met allele carriers. Findings suggest that the combination of HIV infection and the Val/Val COMT genotype leads to working memory deficits and altered prefrontal function in HIV-infected individuals.
PMCID: PMC4319991  PMID: 25515329
HIV; COMT genotype; single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); working memory; prefrontal function; dopamine
16.  Long-term cumulative detection of human papillomavirus among HIV seropositive women 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(17):2601-2608.
To estimate the effects of infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on the type-specific cumulative detection of cervicovaginal infection by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Retrospective assessment of prospectively collected data in a multicenter U.S. cohort.
HIV seropositive and at-risk seronegative participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study were followed semiannually for up to 11 years. HPV typing was determined from cervicovaginal lavage specimens by polymerase chain reaction; types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68 were considered carcinogenic.
Among 3438 women enrolled, (2543 HIV seropositive, 895 seronegative), the cumulative detection of any HPV infection rose among HIV seropositive women from 53% at baseline to 92% at 8 years and among seronegative women from 22% to 66% (P < 0.0001 for HIV seropositive vs seronegative women). The 8-year cumulative detection of carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic HPV was 67% and 89% among HIV seropositive and 36% and 56% among seronegative women (P = 0.001 for both carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic HPV). The 8-year cumulative detection of HPV16 and HPV 18 was 15.2% and 15.0% in HIV seropositive and 6.7% and 6.1% in HIV seronegative women (P < 0.0001 for both). In multivariable regression analyses, lower CD4 count, age under 30 years, and smoking but not number of lifetime sexual partners were significant correlates of cumulative HPV detection.
More than 90% of HIV seropositive women have HPV detected during long follow-up. Rates are lower among at-risk HIV seronegative women, though most also develop HPV infections.
PMCID: PMC4289460  PMID: 25188771
Human papillomavirus; HIV in women; immunodeficiency
17.  Association of Markers of Hemostasis with Death in HIV-infected Women 
In HIV-negatives, markers of hemostasis including D-dimer, Factor VIII, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen (PAI-1) and total protein S are associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. In HIV-positives, studies of D-dimer and Factor VIII with death were limited to short follow-up; associations of PAI-1 and total protein S with death have not been examined.
In 674 HIV-infected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), markers from the first visit after enrollment were exposures of interest in multivariate analyses of death (AIDS and non-AIDS) in separate models at 5 and 16 years.
There were 87 AIDS and 44 non-AIDS deaths at 5 years, and 159 AIDS and 113 non-AIDS deaths at 16 years. An inverse association of total protein S quartiles with non-AIDS deaths was observed at 5 (p-trend=0.002) and 16 years (p-trend=0.02); there was no association with AIDS deaths. The 3rd quartile of PAI-1 was associated with AIDS deaths at 5 (hazard ratio (HR)=4.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.9–8.4) and 16 years (HR=3.4, 95% CI=1.9–5.9); and with non-AIDS deaths at 5 years (HR=4.8, 95%CI=1.6,13.9). D-dimer and Factor VIII were not associated with AIDS or non-AIDS death at 5 or 16 years.
Lower total Protein S was a consistent marker of non-AIDS death. We found no association between D-dimer with AIDS or non-AIDS death, in contrast to previous studies showing increased short term (<5 years) mortality, which may represent sex differences or population heterogeneity. Given longer survival on HAART, further studies of these markers are needed to determine their prognostic value.
PMCID: PMC4197808  PMID: 25314249
18.  Investigating the Effects of Metabolic Dysregulation on Hair Follicles: A Comparison of HIV-Infected Women With and Without Central Lipohypertrophy 
International journal of dermatology  2013;53(10):e443-e448.
Normal lipid metabolism and functioning of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) in the sebaceous gland is critical to maintaining a normal hair follicle. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection affects lipid metabolism; some have hypothesized a link between PPAR-gamma function and lipodystrophy in HIV infection. Our objective was to determine whether lipodystrophy is associated with altered hair characteristics in HIV-infected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Hair characteristics and scalp inflammation were assessed by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Central lipohypertrophy and peripheral lipoatrophy was defined by self report of moderate to severe fat gain in central body sites and fat loss in peripheral body sites, respectively confirmed by clinical examination. Additional covariates considered in the analyses included demographics, behavioral characteristics, medical history, and HIV-related factors.
There were 1037 women with data on all study variables. 76 women reported central lipohypertrophy; only 4 women reported lipoatrophy. Women with central lipohypertrophy were more likely to be older, have a self-reported history of injection drug use, statin medication use, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and have self-reported less hair and shorter eyelashes. After adjustment for age, central lipohypertrophy was associated with shorter eyelashes (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.4-3.8).
Central lipohypertrophy was not associated with change in scalp hair texture or scalp inflammation in this cohort. Rather, we found an association between central lipohypertrophy and shorter eyelash length. This finding may be explained by an influence of prostaglandin E2 mediators on eyelash follicles.
PMCID: PMC3785560  PMID: 23786579
eyelash; hair; HIV
19.  Serum Albumin and Kidney Function Decline in HIV-Infected Women 
Serum albumin concentrations are a strong predictor of mortality and cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected individuals. We studied the longitudinal associations between serum albumin levels and kidney function decline in a population of HIV-infected women.
Study Design
Retrospective cohort analysis.
Setting & Participants
The study participants were recruited from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a large observational study designed to understand risk factors for the progression of HIV infection in women living in urban communities. 908 participants had baseline assessment of kidney function and two follow-up measures over an average of 8 years.
The primary predictor was serum albumin concentration.
We examined annual change in kidney function. Secondary outcomes included rapid kidney function decline and incident reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
Kidney function decline was determined by cystatin C–based (eGFRcys) and creatinine-based eGFR (eGFRcr) at baseline and follow up. Each model was adjusted for kidney disease and HIV-related risk factors using linear and relative risk regression.
After multivariate adjustment, each 0.5-g/dL decrement in baseline serum albumin concentration was associated with a 0.56-mL/min faster annual decline in eGFRcys (P<0.001), which was only slightly attenuated to 0.55-mL/min/1.73 m2 after adjustment for albuminuria. Results were similar whether using eGFRcys or eGFRcr. In adjusted analyses, each 0.5-g/dL lower baseline serum albumin was associated with a 1.71-fold greater risk of rapid kidney function decline (p<0.001) and a 1.72-fold greater risk of incident reduced eGFR (p<0.001).
The cohort is composed of only female participants from urban communities within the United States.
Lower levels of serum albumin were strongly associated with kidney function decline and incident reduced eGFR in HIV-infected women, independent of HIV disease status, BMI and albuminuria.
PMCID: PMC4177337  PMID: 25059222
albumin; kidney function; HIV; incident reduced eGFR; albuminuria; disease trajectory; chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression
20.  The association of perceived stress and verbal memory is greater in HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected women 
Journal of neurovirology  2015;21(4):422-432.
In contrast to findings from cohorts comprised primarily of HIV-infected men, verbal memory deficits are the largest cognitive deficit found in HIV-infected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), and this deficit is not explained by depressive symptoms or substance abuse. HIV-infected women may be at greater risk for verbal memory deficits due to a higher prevalence of cognitive risk factors such as high psychosocial stress and lower socioeconomic status. Here, we investigate the association between perceived stress using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and verbal memory performance using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) in 1009 HIV-infected and 496 at-risk HIV-uninfected WIHS participants. Participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery which yielded seven cognitive domain scores, including a primary outcome of verbal memory. HIV infection was not associated with a higher prevalence of high perceived stress (i.e., PSS-10 score in the top tertile) but was associated with worse performance on verbal learning (p<0.01) and memory (p<0.001), as well as attention (p=0.02). Regardless of HIV status, high stress was associated with poorer performance in those cognitive domains (p’s< 0.05) as well as processing speed (p=0.01) and executive function (p<0.01). A significant HIV by stress interaction was found only for the verbal memory domain (p=0.02); among HIV-infected women only, high stress was associated with lower performance (p’s<0.001). That association was driven by the delayed verbal memory measure in particular. These findings suggest that high levels of perceived stress contribute to the deficits in verbal memory observed in WIHS women.
PMCID: PMC4562210  PMID: 25791344
HIV; Verbal memory; Stress; Women; Cognition
22.  An investigation of menopausal stage and symptoms on cognition in HIV-infected women 
Menopause (New York, N.Y.)  2014;21(9):997-1006.
We evaluated the separate and interactive associations of menopausal stage, menopausal symptoms, and HIV infection on cognition. We hypothesized that HIV-infected, perimenopausal women would show the greatest cognitive difficulties and that menopausal symptoms would be inversely associated with cognition.
This cross-sectional study included 708 HIV-infected and 278 HIV-uninfected, pre-, peri-, or postmenopausal women (64% African-American; median age 44 years) from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Participants completed tests of verbal learning and memory, attention/processing speed, and executive function. We administered a menopausal symptom questionnaire that assessed anxiety, vasomotor, and sleep symptoms and obtained measures of depressive symptoms.
In multivariable regression analyses controlling for relevant covariates, HIV infection, but not menopausal stage, was associated with worse performance on all cognitive measures (p’s<0.05). Depressive symptoms were associated with lower cognitive performance on measures of verbal learning and memory, attention, and executive function (p’s<0.05); anxiety symptoms were associated with lower performance on measures of verbal learning and memory (p’s<0.05). Vasomotor symptoms were associated with worse attention (p<0.05). HIV and anxiety symptoms interacted to influence verbal learning (p’s<0.05); elevated anxiety was associated with worse verbal learning in HIV-infected women only.
Vasomotor, depressive, and anxiety symptoms, but not menopausal stage, were associated with worse cognitive performance in both HIV-infected and uninfected women, although elevated anxiety symptoms were associated with verbal learning deficits more in HIV-infected women. Since cognitive problems can interfere with everyday functioning including treatment adherence, it may be important to screen and treat anxiety in HIV-infected women.
PMCID: PMC4119867  PMID: 24496085
HIV; Verbal Learning; Menopause; Mood; Anxiety; African American
23.  Crack cocaine use impairs anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex function in women with HIV infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2014;20(4):352-361.
Crack cocaine use is associated with impaired verbal memory in HIV-infected women more than -uninfected women. To understand the neural basis for this impairment, this study examined the effects of crack cocaine use on activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and strategic encoding during a verbal memory task in HIV-infected women.
Three groups of HIV-infected women from the Chicago Consortium of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study were compared: current users of crack cocaine (n=10), former users of cocaine (n=11), and women who had never used cocaine (n=9). Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a verbal memory task and completed a neuropsychological test of verbal memory.
On the neuropsychological test, current crack users performed significantly worse than other groups on semantic clustering, a measure of strategic encoding, p < .05. During encoding, activation in left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was lower in current and former cocaine users compared to never users. During recognition, activation in bilateral PFC, specifically left dorsal medial PFC and bilateral dorsolateral PFC, was lower in current and former users compared to women who had never used cocaine. Lower activation in left dorsolateral PFC was correlated with worse performance on the recognition task, p < .05.
The verbal learning and memory deficits associated with cocaine use in women with HIV may be partially accounted for by alterations in ACC and PFC function.
PMCID: PMC4090256  PMID: 24760360
HIV; crack cocaine; African American; verbal memory; fMRI; prefrontal cortex
24.  Sexual Minority Status and Violence Among HIV Infected and At-Risk Women 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2014;29(8):1131-1138.
Sexual minority women with and at-risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may face increased risks of violence.
To understand the relationship between sexual minority status and violence; and how high-risk sex and substance use mediate that relationship among women with and at-risk for HIV.
Longitudinal study of 1,235 HIV infected and 508 uninfected women of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) cohort, from New York City, NY, Chicago, IL, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, CA, 1994–2012.
Primary exposures are sexual identity (heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian/gay) and sexual behavior (male, female, or male & female partners). Primary outcomes are sexual abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV) and physical violence; high-risk sex and substance use were examined as mediators.
Bisexual women were at increased odds for sexual abuse [aOR 1.56 (1.00, 2.44)], IPV [aOR 1.50 (1.08, 2.09)], and physical violence [aOR 1.77 (1.33, 2.37)] compared to heterosexual women. In a separate analysis, women who reported sex with men and women (WSMW) had increased odds for sexual abuse [aOR 1.65 (0.99, 2.77], IPV [aOR 1.50 (1.09, 2.06)] and physical violence [aOR 2.24 (1.69, 2.98)] compared to women having sex only with men (WSM). Using indirect effects, multiple sex partners, cocaine and marijuana were significant mediators for most forms of abuse. Transactional sex was only a mediator for bisexual women. Women who reported sex only with women (WSW) had lower odds of sexual abuse [aOR 0.23 (0.06, 0.89)] and physical violence [aOR 0.42 (0.21, 0.85)] compared to WSM.
Women who identify as bisexual or report both male and female sex partners are most vulnerable to violence; multiple recent sex partners, transactional sex and some types of substance use mediate this relationship. Acknowledging sexual identity and behavior, while addressing substance use and high-risk sex in clinical and psychosocial settings, may help reduce violence exposure among women with and at-risk for HIV.
PMCID: PMC4099466  PMID: 24700180
gay and lesbian health; IPV; sexual assault; HIV/AIDS; women’s health
25.  Antiretroviral Therapy Modifies the Genetic Effect of Known Type 2 Diabetes-Associated Risk Variants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(12):1815-1823.
Type 2 diabetes (DM) incidence is increased in HIV-infected persons. We examined the associations of DM with known DM-risk alleles from the general population in the context of HIV infection and explored effect modification by combination antiretroviral treatment (cART).
The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is a prospective cohort of HIV-infected women. Seventeen European-derived DM-risk polymorphisms were genotyped in eligible WIHS participants. Analyses were run separately for non-African-Americans (Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and other; n=378, 49 with incident DM) and African-Americans (n=591, 49 with incident DM). Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for DM overall and within strata of cART.
In non-African-Americans, heterogeneity across cART regimen was observed for 9 of 14 polymorphisms (phet<0.05). One polymorphism was statistically significantly inversely associated with DM risk among women taking 2 NRTIs+NNRTI. Five polymorphisms were statistically significantly associated with DM among women treated with ≥2 NRTIs + ≥1 PI and one polymorphism was associated with DM among those treated with ≥3 NRTIs ± NNRTI. The HR per risk allele for IGF2BP2 rs1470579 was 2.67 (95% CI 1.67–4.31) for women taking cART with ≥2 NRTIs+≥1 PI and 2.45 (95% CI 1.08–5.53) in women taking ≥3 NRTIs±NNRTI (phet=2.50×10−3). No such associations were observed in African-Americans.
Genetic susceptibility to DM, based on the variants studied, is substantially elevated among HIV-infected women using cART containing three or more NRTI/PI components. A personalized medicine approach to cART selection may be indicated for HIV-infected persons carrying these DM-risk variants.
PMCID: PMC4269472  PMID: 24932614
type 2 diabetes; genetics; HIV; women; antiretroviral therapy

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