Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype has been associated with probability of spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, no prior studies have examined whether this relationship may be further characterized by grouping HLA alleles according to their supertypes, defined by their binding capacities. There is debate regarding the most appropriate method to define supertypes. Therefore, previously reported HLA supertypes (46 class I and 25 class II) were assessed for their relation with HCV clearance in a population of 758 HCV-seropositive women. Two HLA class II supertypes were significant in multivariable models that included: (i) supertypes with significant or borderline associations with HCV clearance after adjustment for multiple tests, and (ii) individual HLA alleles not part of these supertypes, but associated with HCV clearance in our prior study in this population. Specifically, supertype DRB3 (prevalence ratio (PR)=0.4; p=0.004) was associated with HCV persistence while DR8 (PR=1.8; p=0.01) was associated with HCV clearance. Two individual alleles (B*57:01 and C*01:02) associated with HCV clearance in our prior study became non-significant in analysis that included supertypes while B*57:03 (PR=1.9; p=0.008) and DRB1*07:01 (PR=1.7; p=0.005) retained significance. These data provide epidemiologic support for the significance of HLA supertypes in relation to HCV clearance.
hepatitis C virus; HLA; human leukocyte antigen; supertype
To compare neuropsychological scores in women infected with HIV, women infected with both HIV and hepatitis C, and uninfected subjects.
Some, but not all, studies have demonstrated that dual infection with HCV and HIV has worse effects on cognition than infection with HIV alone.
The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is an ongoing prospective study of the natural history of HIV in women where participants are reevaluated every 6 months. In a cross-sectional analysis, we evaluated the effects of active HIV and HCV-infections on scores on symbol-digit test (SDMT), the Stroop interference test, and trails A and B after controlling for age, ethnicity, education, depression, liver disease, and current or past substance abuse.
Data were available for 1338 women – 17.8 % had detectable hepatitis C virus and 67% were HIV-seropositive. In fully adjusted general linear models, HCV viremia was not associated with scores on any of the cognitive tests.
In this large sample of women, active HCV infection was not associated with scores on a small battery of neuropsychological tests.
Hepatitis C; HIV; neurocognition; women
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I stimulates the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), the primary source of extracellular matrix accumulation in liver fibrosis. In contrast, insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 3, the most abundant IGFBP in circulation, negatively modulates HSC mitogenesis. To investigate the role of the IGF axis in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease among high-risk patients, we prospectively evaluated HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
A cohort investigation.
Total IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in baseline serum specimens obtained from 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects enrolled in the Women's Inter-agency HIV Study, a large multi-institutional cohort. The aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), a marker of liver fibrosis, was assessed annually.
Normal APRI levels (< 1.0) at baseline were detected in 374 of the 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects tested, of whom 302 had complete liver function test data and were studied. IGF-I was positively associated [adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest and lowest quartiles (AORq4–q1), 5.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–29.1; Ptrend = 0.03], and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated (AORq4–q1, 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.76; Ptrend = 0.04), with subsequent (incident) detection of an elevated APRI level(> 1.5), after adjustment for the CD4 T-cell count, alcohol consumption, and other risk factors.
High IGF-I may be associated with increased risk and high IGFBP-3 with reduced risk of liver disease among HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI; hepatitis C virus (HCV); HIV; IGFBP-3; IGF; liver disease
Despite the high frequency of HCV and HIV coinfection, little is known about HCV quasispecies in HIV-positive patients. The current analysis included 236 HIV+/anti-HCV+ women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Hypervariable region 1 of the second envelope gene was analyzed by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). The relationship between the HCV quasispecies and clinical and demographic features were analyzed in multivariate models. Age over 40 years and high HCV RNA load were the only factors significantly associated with quasispecies complexity, assessed as the number of SSCP bands. High HIV and HCV plasma loads were associated with quasispecies stability over time, as reflected by stable SSCP band patterns. However, women who were actively injecting drugs were 3 times more likely to experience quasispecies changes than their noninjecting counterparts. No affect on HCV quasi-species dynamics was noted in relation to CD4 count or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Conclusion: among HIV/HCV coinfected patients, HCV quasispecies complexity and dynamics correlate more closely with HIV and HCV plasma loads than with CD4+ cell counts. Active drug use is associated with quasispecies changes probably due to repeated superinfections with new HCV strains. This needs to be considered when planning treatment and prevention strategies for HCV in coinfected individuals.
Coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among HIV-infected women.
To further our understanding of the risk factors for HCV viremia and the predictors of HCV viral load among women.
We investigated sociodemographic, immunologic, and virologic factors associated with presence and level of HCV viremia among 882 HIV-infected and 167 HIV-uninfected HCV-seropositive women at entry into the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Plasma HCV RNA was detected in 852 (81%) of these 1,049 women (range: 1.2–7.8 log10 copies/ml). HCV-viremic women were more likely to have an HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/ml (P =0.0004), have reported smoking (P =0.01), or to be Black (P =0.005). They were less likely to have current or resolved hepatitis B infection. HCV RNA levels were higher in women who were >35 years old, or HIV-infected. Current smoking and history of drug use (crack/freebase cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, or heroin) were each associated with both presence and level of viremia.
Substance abuse counseling aimed at eliminating ongoing use of illicit drugs and tobacco may reduce clinical progression, improve response to treatment, and decrease HCV transmission by lowering levels of HCV viremia in women.
Hepatitis C; Hepatitis C RNA levels; Hepatitis C viremia; HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfection
To evaluate baseline T-cell activation and neurodevelopmental outcomes over time in a cohort of perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV-infected) children with severe disease.
Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocol 366 (PACTG 366) was a partially randomized, open-label, multicenter 96-week antiretroviral treatment-algorithm study. Neurodevelopmental status, measured by age-dependent evaluations (Bayley scales of infant development-II; Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence-revised; Wechsler intelligence scale for children-III), was a secondary outcome.
Linear mixed models were used to assess the baseline and follow-up neurodevelopmental outcomes in relation to immune activation, measured by CD38 and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR expression on peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at study baseline. Models were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, baseline viral load, baseline CD4%, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection status at entry, study treatment arms, central nervous system penetrance score of antiretroviral regimen at entry, and viral load response 16 weeks postentry.
Among 126 PACTG 366 enrollees who were at least 1 year old and had both immune activation and age-appropriate neurodevelopmental assessments at baseline, 80 (63%) were black non-Hispanic, 71 (56%) males, 122 (97%) were on antiretrovirals, and 45 (36%) were in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disease category C at entry. CD4+CD38+HLADR+%, CD4+CD38−HLADR+%, and CD8+CD38+HLADR+% were positively associated with full-scale Intelligence Quotient scores (FSIQ) (slope =0.18, 0.70, and 0.15, respectively; P =0.02, 0.03, and 0.04, respectively). CD4+CD38+HLADR−% was negatively associated with FSIQ (slope =−0.16, P =0.01).
Contrary to HIV-infected adults, in PHIV-infected children higher CD4+CD38+HLADR+% may be associated with a neuroprotective effect and higher percentage of CD4+CD38+ but HLADR− T cells may be deleterious.
HIV-associated central nervous system disease; immune activation; neurodevelopmental outcomes; pediatric neuro-AIDS; perinatally HIV-infected children
Background. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II genotype is associated with clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but little is known regarding its relation with HCV viral load or risk of liver disease in patients with persistent HCV infection.
Methods. High-resolution HLA class I and II genotyping was conducted in a prospective cohort of 519 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–seropositive and 100 HIV-seronegative women with persistent HCV infection. The end points were baseline HCV viral load and 2 noninvasive indexes of liver disease, fibrosis-4 (FIB-4), and the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), measured at baseline and prospectively.
Results. DQB1*0301 was associated with low baseline HCV load (β = −.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], −.6 to −.3; P < .00001), as well as with low odds of FIB-4–defined (odds ratio [OR], .5; 95% CI, .2–.9; P = .02) and APRI-defined liver fibrosis (OR, .5; 95% CI, .3–1.0; P = .06) at baseline and/or during follow-up. Most additional associations with HCV viral load also involved HLA class II alleles. Additional associations with FIB-4 and APRI primarily involved class I alleles, for example, the relation of B*1503 with APRI-defined fibrosis had an OR of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.0–3.7; P = .04).
Conclusions. HLA genotype may influence HCV viral load and risk of liver disease, including DQB1*0301, which was associated with HCV clearance in prior studies.
Mucosal tissues represent major targets for HIV transmission, but differ in susceptibility and reservoir function by unknown mechanisms.
In a cross-sectional study, HIV RNA and infectious virus were compared between oral and genital compartments and blood in HIV-infected women, in association with clinical parameters, co-pathogens and putative innate and adaptive HIV inhibitors.
HIV RNA was detectable in 24.5% of women from all 3 compartments, whereas 45% had RNA in only one or two sites. By comparison, infectious HIV, present in blood of the majority, was rare in mucosal sites. Innate mediators, SLPI and TSP, were highest in mucosae. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was associated with an 80% decreased probability of shedding. Multivariate logistic regression models revealed that mucosal HIV RNA was associated with higher plasma RNA, infectious virus, and total mucosal IgA, but not IgG. There was a 37-fold increased probability of detecting RNA in both genital and oral specimens (P=0.008;P=0.02, respectively) among women in highest vs lowest IgA tertiles.
Mucosal sites exhibit distinct characteristics of infectious HIV, viral shedding and responses to therapy, dependent upon both systemic and local factors. Of the putative innate and adaptive mucosal defense factors examined, only IgA was associated with HIV RNA shedding. However, rather than being protective, there was a striking increase in probability of detectable HIV RNA shedding in women with highest total IgA.
HIV-1; mucosa; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; IgA; SLPI
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been reported to replicate in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), particularly in patients coinfected with HCV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, there are limited data regarding the prevalence of and the factors associated with extrahepatic replication.
The presence of negative-strand HCV RNA in PBMCs was evaluated by a strand-specific assay for 144 anti-HCV–positive/HIV-infected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. One to 5 PBMC samples obtained from each woman were tested. Multivariate analyses were used to assess for associations with the clinical and demographic characteristics of the women.
Negative-strand HCV RNA was detected in 78 (25%) of 315 specimens, and, for 61 women (42%), ≥1 specimen was found to have positive results. The presence of negative-strand HCV RNA in PBMCs was significantly positively associated with an HCV RNA plasma level of ≥6.75 log copies/mL (P =.04) and consumption of ≥7 alcoholic drinks per week (P =.02). It was also negatively associated with injection drug use occurring in the past 6 months (P =.03). A negative association with a CD4+CD38+DR+ cell percentage of >10% and a positive association with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome were borderline significant (P =.05).
HCV replication in PBMCs is common among HIV-coinfected women and appears to be a dynamic process related to lifestyle, virologic, and immunologic factors.
The human gene for CC chemokine receptor 5, a coreceptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), affects susceptibility to infection. Most studies of predominantly male cohorts found that individuals carrying a homozygous deleted form of the gene, Δ32, were protected against transmission, but protection did not extend to Δ32 heterozygotes. The role played by this mutation in HIV-1 transmission to women was studied in 2605 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. The Δ32 gene frequency was 0.026 for HIV-1–seropositive women and 0.040 for HIV-1–seronegative women, and statistical analyses showed that Δ32 heterozygotes were significantly less likely to be infected (odds ratio, 0.63 [95% confidence interval, 0.44–0.90]). The CCR5 Δ32 heterozygous genotype may confer partial protection against HIV-1 infection in women. Because Δ32 is rare in Africans and Asians, it seems plausible that differential genetic susceptibility, in addition to social and behavioral factors, may contribute to the rapid heterosexual spread of HIV-1 in Africa and Asia.
While the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype has been associated with the rate of HIV disease progression in untreated patients, little is known regarding these relationships in patients using highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The limited data reported to date identified few HLA-HIV disease associations in patients using HAART and even occasional associations that were opposite of those found in untreated patients. We conducted high-resolution HLA class I and II genotyping in a random sample (n = 860) of HIV-seropositive women enrolled in a long-term cohort initiated in 1994. HLA-HIV disease associations before and after initiation of HAART were examined using multivariate analyses. In untreated HIV-seropositive patients, we observed many of the predicted associations, consistent with prior studies. For example, HLA-B*57 (β = −0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.9 to −0.5; P = 5 × 10−11) and Bw4 (β = −0.2; 95% CI = −0.4 to −0.1; P = 0.009) were inversely associated with baseline HIV viral load, and B*57 was associated with a low risk of rapid CD4+ decline (odds ratio [OR] = 0.2; 95% CI = 0.1 to 0.6; P = 0.002). Conversely, in treated patients, the odds of a virological response to HAART were lower for B*57:01 (OR = 0.2; 95% CI = 0.0 to 0.9; P = 0.03), and Bw4 (OR = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.1 to 1.0; P = 0.04) was associated with low odds of an immunological response. The associations of HLA genotype with HIV disease are different and sometimes even opposite in treated and untreated patients.
The majority of natural history studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have immune and viral parameters in men. Data demonstrating that women have lower HIV-1 RNA levels than men at the same CD4 cell counts have raised the question of immunologic differences in HIV-seropositive women. This study describes levels and changes in phenotypic markers of immune maturity, function, and activation in the CD4 and CD8 cell subsets in HIV-seropositive and high-risk HIV-seronegative women. Our primary hypothesis was that activation levels would be significantly higher among illicit drug users. However, results showed that HIV-1 RNA level was the strongest predictor of marker level and that both HIV-1 RNA level and CD4 cell count were independently associated with CD4 activation, but illicit drug use was not. In summary, this study demonstrated that immune activation was a significant pathogenic feature in women and that activation was driven by HIV infection and not illicit drug use.
Both antiretroviral therapy and the human coreceptor polymorphism CCR2-V64I slow progression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease. To examine the effect of V64I on disease progression in patients receiving therapy, we determined CCR2 genotypes in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study cohort. We studied 2047 HIV-1–infected women, most of whom initiated treatment during the study. No association was seen between CCR2 genotype and either disease progression or therapeutic response, suggesting that the benefits of treatment most likely overshadow the salutary effects of the V64I polymorphism.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected women—in particular, those coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)—can transmit infection to their children and sex partners.
The present study was conducted to analyze the presence of HCV RNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) fluid from 71 women (58 HCV/HIV-1–coinfected women and 13 HCV-infected, HIV-1–uninfected women) enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
HCV RNA was detected (by a commercial polymerase chain reaction assay) in CVL fluid from 18 (29%) of the HIV-1–infected women and from none of the HIV-1–uninfected women (P < .05). Multivariate analysis revealed that risk factors for the presence of HCV RNA in CVL fluid were HCV viremia (odds ratio [OR], 16.81; P = .02) and HIV-1 RNA in CVL fluid (OR, 19.87; P = .02). This observation suggests local interactions between HIV-1 and HCV in the genital tract compartment. There was no correlation between HCV RNA in CVL fluid and CD4, CD8, or CD3 cell counts, HIV-1 RNA viremia, the number of leukocytes in CVL fluid, or HIV-1 therapy. Furthermore, in 3 of 5 analyzed patients who had a detectable CVL HCV RNA load, we found viral variants differing in the 5′ untranslated region that were present neither in plasma nor in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells.
Our observations point to the importance of the genital tract compartment, in which local HCV replication could be facilitated by local HIV-1 replication.
We previously demonstrated that HIV infection is associated with peripheral and central lipoatrophy in women. We now describe the association of specific antiretroviral drugs (ARV) with body fat changes over a four-year period from 1999 to 2003. 775 HIV-positive and 205 HIV-negative women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study with anthropometric measurements, weight, bioelectric impedance analysis and ARV collected semiannually were included in analysis. Exposure to ARV was defined as report of use for 3 consecutive semiannual study visits. The average 6–month change in weight, percent total body fat, and circumference measurements (i.e., hip, waist, chest, arm, and thigh) was compared between those exposed and those unexposed to the specific ARV for any of the same three consecutive visits. Weight, percent total body fat, and hip, waist, thigh, chest, and arm circumferences decreased in HIV-positive women, but increased in HIV-negative women on average for every six-month interval over the 4-year study period. Among the HIV-positive women, didanosine was the only ARV associated with decreases in circumference measures in the hip (−0.65 cm, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −1.18, −0.12), waist (−0.71 cm, 95% CI: −1.37, −0.04), chest (−0.71 cm, 95% CI: −1.17, −0.26), and arm (−0.23 cm, 95% CI: −0.48, 0.03; p = 0.08). These prospective data suggest that fat loss continues to predominate in HIV-positive women and exposure to didanosine for at least 12 months may further worsen fat loss.
To characterize predictors of isolated hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and HIV-uninfected women, we compared 702 women with anti-HBc and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) with 490 women with isolated anti-HBc (1.8% of whom had detectable hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA). Factors independently associated with isolated anti-HBc without viremia were detectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, HIV positivity, history of injection drug use, >10 lifetime sex partners, and HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/mL. Anti-HBs levels were lower among anti-HCV–positive women. Isolated anti-HBc was rarely explained by occult HBV in this cohort but may be explained by the influence of viral coinfections on anti-HBs level or durability.
The objective of this research was to identify the impact of genetic variants of P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and cytochrome P450 (CYP) on nelfinavir pharmacokinetics and response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV-1–infected children.
HIV-1–infected children (n = 152) from Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Group 366 or 377 receiving nelfinavir as a component of HAART were evaluated. Genomic DNA was assayed for ABCB1 and CYP genetic variants using real-time polymerase chain reaction Nelfinavir oral clearance (CL/F), M8 to nelfinavir ratios, CD4+ T cells, and HIV-1-RNA were measured during HAART.
Nelfinavir CL/F and M8 to nelfinavir ratios were significantly associated with the CYP2C19-G681A genotypes (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the CYP2C19-G681A genotype was related to virologic responses at week 24 (P = 0.01). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that age (P = 0.03), concomitant protease inhibitor use (P < 0.001), and the CYP2C19-G681A genotype (P < 0.001) remained significant covariates associated with nelfinavir CL/F.
CYP2C19 genotypes altered nelfinavir pharmacokinetics and the virologic response to HAART in HIV-1–infected children. These findings suggest that CYP2C19 genotypes are important determinants of nelfinavir pharmacokinetics and virologic response in HIV-1-infected children.
ABCB1; CYP2C19; children; nelfinavir; virologic response
To evaluate the effects of longitudinal patterns and types of non-injection drug use (NIDU) on HIV progression in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era.
Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a prospective cohort study conducted at six US sites.
Data were collected semi-annually from 1994 to 2002 on 1046 HIV+ women. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate relative hazards for developing AIDS and for death by pattern and type of NIDU.
During follow-up, 285 AIDS events and 287 deaths, of which 177 were AIDS-related, were reported. At baseline, consistent and former NIDU was associated with CD4+ counts of < 200 cells/μl (43% and 46%, respectively) and viral load > 40 000 copies/ml (53% and 55%, respectively). Consistent NIDU reported less HAART use (53%) compared with other NIDU patterns. Stimulant use was associated with CD4+ cell counts of < 200 cells/μl (53%) and lower HAART initiation (63%) compared with other NIDU types. In multivariate analyses, progression to AIDS was significantly higher among consistent (RH = 2.52), inconsistent (RH = 1.63) and former (RH = 1.56) users compared with never users; and for stimulant (RH = 2.04) and polydrug (RH = 1.65) users compared with non-users. Progression to all-cause death was higher only among former users (RH = 1.48) compared with never users in multivariate analysis. NIDU behaviors were not associated with progression to AIDS-related death.
In this study, pattern and type of NIDU were associated with HIV progression to AIDS and all-cause mortality. These differences were associated with lower HAART utilization among consistent NIDU and use of stimulants, and poor baseline immunological and virological status among former users.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; highly active anti-retroviral therapy; human immunodeficiency virus; mortality; non-injection drug use
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis has been hypothesized to influence the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression. This premise is based largely on laboratory models showing that IGF-I stimulates thymic growth and increases lymphocyte numbers and that IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)–3 has an opposing effect, inhibiting hematopoietic stem cell development.
We studied 1422 HIV-infected women enrolled in a large cohort that entailed semiannual follow-up (initiated in 1994). Baseline serum samples were tested for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 to determine their associations with incident clinical acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and CD4+ T cell count decline prior to April 1996 (before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy [HAART]).
Low IGF-I levels (Ptrend = .02) and high IGFBP-3 levels (Ptrend = .02) were associated with rapid CD4+ T cell count decline. Only IGFBP-3, however, was significantly associated with AIDS incidence (hazard ratio for highest vs. lowest quartile, 2.65 [95% confidence interval, 1.30–5.42]; Ptrend = .02) in multivariable models.
These findings suggest that serum levels of IGFBP-3 (and possibly IGF-I) are associated with the rate of HIV disease progression in women and, more broadly, that interindividual heterogeneity in the IGF axis may influence HIV pathogenesis. If correct, the IGF axis could be a target for interventions to slow HIV disease progression and extend the time before use of HAART becomes necessary.
Bias in cytokine responses has been proposed as a contributing mechanism to pathogenesis in persistent HIV or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. We investigated whether coinfection with HCV modifies the profile of antigen-specific cytokine secretion in women persistently infected with HIV compared to women with single HIV or HCV infection. The T helper response to HIV, HCV and cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a positive viral control was dominated by type 1 cytokines (interleukin- [IL] 2, interferon- [IFN] γ and tumor necrosis factor- [TNF] α), with IFN-γ as the most abundantly secreted. IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10 were low in healthy controls and patients. Robust CMV-specific responses contrasted with curtailed HCV-specific responses in HCV-infected women. The overall anti-viral profile was dominated by Th1 cytokines even in coinfected women but both type 1 and type 2 responses were reduced in HIV-infected women and more extensively in women with HCV/HIV coinfection.
T helper cells; cytokines; infectious diseases; hepatitis C virus; HIV
Among women with low o r undetectable quantities of HIV-1 RNA in plasma, factors associated with genital HIV-1 RNA shedding, including choice of treatment regimen, are poorly characterized.
We measured HIV-1 RNA in cervical swab specimens obtained from participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study who had concurrent plasma viral RNA levels <500 copies/mL, and we assessed factors associated with genital HIV shedding. The study was powered to determine the relative effects of antiretroviral protease inhibitors (PIs) versus nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) on viral RNA shedding.
Overall, 44 (15%) of 290 women had detectable HIV-1 RNA in cervical specimens. In the final multivariate model, shedding was independently associated with NNRTI (vs. PI) use (odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.24, 1.13 to 4.45) and illicit drug use (OR, 95% CI: 2.41, 0.96 to 5.69).
This is the largest study to define risks for genital HIV-1 RNA shedding in women with low/undetectable plasma virus. Shedding in this population was common, and NNRTI-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (vs. PI-based HAART) was associated with genital HIV shedding. Further study is required to determine the impact of these findings on transmission of HIV from mother to child or to sexual partners.
compartmentalization; genital; HIV; nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; protease inhibitor; undetectable; viral replication; women
To evaluate the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the immune system before receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and on immune recovery after receipt of HAART among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV–coinfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
The study included 294 HIV-infected women who initiated HAART and attended 2 follow-up visits. The women were grouped on the basis of positive HCV antibody and HCV RNA tests. There were 148 women who were HCV antibody negative, 34 who were HCV antibody positive but RNA negative, and 112 who were HCV antibody and RNA positive. Immune recovery was measured by flow-cytometric assessment for markers of activation and maturation on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Data analysis used repeated measures of variance.
HIV/HCV coinfection is associated with an increased number of CD4+ and CD8+ primed/memory T cells. HIV/HCV coinfection, however, did not affect any further decreases in CD4+ or CD4+ and CD8+ naive/memory T cell counts or enhanced T cell activation. HIV/HCV coinfection also did not affect HAART responses in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartment.
HCV does not affect immune responses to HAART in HIV/HCV–coinfected individuals but is associated with an expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cell subsets. Functional impairment in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartments still needs to be assessed in coinfected patients.
Virologic response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) typically results in a substantial rise in CD4 cell counts. We investigated factors associated with poor CD4 response among HIV-infected women followed at 6-monthly intervals in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Women with nadir CD4 counts <350 cells/mm3 who achieved at least 6 months of plasma HIV RNA < 400 copies/ml were studied. Demographic, clinical, and treatment factors were compared between immunologic nonresponders, defined as the lower quartile of CD4 count change after two visits with virologic suppression (<56 cell/mm3; n = 38), and the remaining group of responders (n = 115). Immunologic nonresponders had lower baseline HIV RNA levels and higher CD4 counts, more frequently used HAART 6 months prior to achieving consistent viral suppression, and more commonly had HIV RNA levels >80 but <400 copies/mL at both suppressive visits (21 vs. 7.8%, p = 0.024). In multivariate analysis, higher CD4 count and lower HIV RNA level at the last presuppressive visit were associated with immune nonresponse. We conclude that higher baseline CD4 count and lower HIV RNA level were associated with poor immunologic response to HAART in women with virologic suppression for at least 6 months. Persistent low level viremia may also contribute.
To examine changes in the causes of death and mortality in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy.
Among women with, or at risk of, HIV infection, who were enrolled in a national study from 1994 to 1995, we used an algorithm that classified cause of death as due to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or non-AIDS causes based on data from death certificates and the CD4 count. Poisson regression models were used to estimate death rates and to determine the risk factors for AIDS and non-AIDS deaths.
Of 2059 HIV-infected women and 569 who were at risk of HIV infection, 468 (18%) had died by April 2000 (451 HIV-infected and 17 not infected). Causes of death were available for 428 participants (414 HIV-infected and 14 not infected). Among HIV-infected women, deaths were classified as AIDS (n = 294), non-AIDS (n = 91), or indeterminate (n = 29). The non-AIDS causes included liver failure (n = 19), drug overdose (n = 16), non-AIDS malignancies (n = 12), cardiac disease (n = 10), and murder, suicide, or accident (n = 10). All-cause mortality declined an average of 26% per year (P = 0.03) and AIDS-related mortality declined by 39% per year (P = 0.01), whereas non-AIDS-related mortality remained stable (10% average annual decrease, P = 0.73). Factors that were independently associated with non-AIDS-related mortality included depression, history of injection drug use with hepatitis C infection, cigarette smoking, and age.
A substantial minority (20%) of deaths among women with HIV was due to causes other than AIDS. Our data suggest that to decrease mortality further among HIV-infected women, attention must be paid to treatable conditions, such as hepatitis C, depression, and drug and tobacco use.