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1.  Serum biomarkers of immune activation and subsequent risk of non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma among HIV-infected women 
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.
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.
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.
These findings support the hypothesis that chronic B cell activation contributes to the development of AIDS-NHL in women.
sCD23, sCD27, sCD30, and CXCL13 may serve as biomarkers for AIDS-NHL.
PMCID: PMC3833437  PMID: 24045923
lymphoma; B cell; cytokines; AIDS; immune activation
2.  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.
We examined the interaction of illicit drug use and depressive symptoms, and how they affect the subsequent likelihood of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use among women with HIV/AIDS.
Subjects included 1,710 HIV-positive women recruited from six sites in the U.S. including Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC. Cases of probable depression were identified using depressive symptom scores on the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Crack, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine use were self-reported at 6-month time intervals. We conducted multivariate logistic random regression analysis of data collected during sixteen waves of semiannual interviews conducted from April 1996 through March 2004.
We found an interaction effect between illicit drug use and depression that acted to suppress subsequent HAART use, controlling for virologic and immunologic indicators, socio-demographic variables, time, and study site.
This is the first study to document the interactive effects of drug use and depressive symptoms on reduced likelihood of HAART use in a national cohort of women. Since evidence-based behavioral health and antiretroviral therapies for each of these three conditions are now available, comprehensive HIV treatment is an achievable public health goal.
PMCID: PMC4009351  PMID: 17291696
HIV; depression; HAART; drug use
3.  Changing Patterns of Anal Canal Carcinoma in the United States 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(12):1569-1575.
Persistent human papillomavirus infection is associated with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCCA). With changing sexual behaviors, SCCA incidence and patient demographics may also have changed in recent years.
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results public-use data set from 1973 to 2009 was analyzed to determine incidence trends for and demographic factors characterizing SCCA. Joinpoint analyses identified time points when incidence rates changed. For comparison, similar analyses were conducted for anal adenocarcinoma.
Joinpoint analyses identified 1997 as the single inflection point among 11,231 patients with SCCA, at which the slope of incidence rates statistically increased (1997 to 2009 v 1973 to 1996: risk ratio [RR], 2.2; 95% CI, 2.1 to 2.3). Annual percent change (APC) increased for all SCCA stages and was the greatest for anal carcinoma in situ (CIS; APC, 14.2; 95% CI, 10.2 to 18.4). Demographic changes characterizing later versus earlier time period included younger age at diagnosis and rising incidence rates in all stage, sex, and racial groups. During 1997 to 2009, women were less likely to present with CIS (RR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.3 to 0.3) but more likely to present with localized (RR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.3) and regional SCCA (RR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.4 to 1.7). In contrast, adenocarcinoma APCs among 1,791 patients remained stable during this time period.
CIS and SCCA incidence increased dramatically after 1997 for men and women, although men were more likely to be diagnosed with CIS. These changes likely resulted from available screening in men and argue for efforts to identify high-risk individuals who may benefit from screening.
PMCID: PMC3753461  PMID: 23509304
4.  Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin, Rituximab, Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, and Prednisone in AIDS-Related Lymphoma: AIDS Malignancy Consortium Study 047 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;31(1):58-64.
Infusional chemotherapy is efficacious in patients with AIDS-related lymphoma, but it may be difficult to administer. We studied standard agents with rituximab plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (DR-COP) in an attempt to provide a more practical approach to therapy while ascertaining rates of response, potential infectious complications, and prognostic role of biologic markers.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a prospective, multi-institutional phase II trial, employing (day 1) pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 40 mg/m2, rituximab 375 mg/m2, cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2, vincristine 1.4 mg/m2 (not > 2 mg), and prednisone 100 mg orally on days 1 through 5, with concomitant antiretroviral therapy.
In 40 evaluable patients, median CD4 cells was 114/μL (range, 5 to 1,026/μL), and median HIV-1 viral load (VL) was 25,000 copies/mL. High or intermediate/high age-adjusted International Prognostic Index was present in 28%. Overall response was 67.5%, with complete remission in 47.5% (95% CI, 31.5 to 63.9). Of 19 complete responders, 84% had extranodal disease, 47% had CD4 < 100/μL, and 47% had VL > 50,000 copies/mL; one relapsed. With 25.5-month median follow-up, 62% (95% CI, 44 to 75) of patients remain alive. Sixteen patients (40%) experienced 22 infections, with grade 4 in only two (5%). No patient died as a result of infection during treatment; one had opportunistic infection.
Profound immunodeficiency and high HIV-1 viral load do not preclude attainment of complete response after DR-COP with highly active antiretroviral therapy. The regimen is tolerable, and use of rituximab was not associated with death as a result of infection during treatment. This approach may be useful in patients in whom the more intensive infusional regimens are impractical.
PMCID: PMC3530691  PMID: 23169503
5.  Cervicovaginal HPV Infection Before and After Hysterectomy: Evidence of Different Tissue Tropism for Oncogenic and Non-Oncogenic HPV Types in a Cohort of HIV-positive and HIV-negative Women 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is detected in nearly all cervical cancers and approximately half of vaginal cancers. However, vaginal cancer is an order of magnitude less common than cervical cancer, not only in the general population but also among women with HIV/AIDS. It is interesting therefore that recent studies found that HPV was common in both normal vaginal and cervical tissue, with higher prevalence of non-oncogenic HPV types in the vagina. In the current investigation, we prospectively examined HPV infection in 86 HIV-positive and 17 HIV-negative women who underwent hysterectomy during follow-up in a longitudinal cohort. Cervicovaginal lavage specimens were obtained semi-annually and tested for HPV DNA by PCR. To address possible selection biases associated with having a hysterectomy, subjects acted as their own comparison group – before versus after hysterectomy. The average HPV prevalence was higher in HIV-positive than HIV-negative women both before (59% versus 12%; P<0.001) and after hysterectomy (56% versus 6%; P<0.001). Multivariate random effects models (within-individual comparisons) demonstrated significantly lower HPV prevalence (odds ratio [OR]=0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.59-0.85) after hysterectomy. The association of HPV prevalence with hysterectomy was similar among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. However, hysterectomy had greater effects on oncogenic (OR=0.48; 95%CI=0.35-0.66) than non-oncogenic HPV types (OR=0.89; 95%CI=0.71-1.11; Pinteraction=0.002). Overall, we observed greater reductions in oncogenic than non-oncogenic HPV prevalence following hysterectomy. If correct, these data could suggest that oncogenic HPV have greater tropism for cervical compared with vaginal epithelium, consistent with the lower incidence of vaginal than cervical cancer.
PMCID: PMC3321069  PMID: 22120980
vaginal; HPV; hysterectomy; viral tropism; HIV
6.  Correlating knowledge of cervical cancer prevention and human papillomavirus with compliance after colposcopy referral 
To assess the impact of knowledge of cervical cancer biology and prevention as well as noncognitive measures on compliance with colposcopy referral in a high risk population.
Participants in a U.S. cohort of women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and at risk comparison women completed behavior questionnaires and instruments measuring knowledge of cervical cancer prevention, depressive symptoms, trust in doctors, and perceived stress. Examinations including Pap tests also were conducted. Associations with compliance with resulting indicated colposcopy were assessed in multivariable models.
Of 326 women with indicated colposcopy, 222 (68%) were compliant with colposcopy referral and 104 (32%) noncompliant. In multivariable analysis, better colposcopy compliance was associated with less education (O.R. for compliance 2.24, 95% C.I. 1.12–4.51 vs more than high school), prior abnormal Pap (O.R. per prior abnormal Pap 1.08 95% C.I. 1.01–1.15), study site (O.R. for site with best vs worst compliance 16.1, 95% C.I. 2.91–88.6), and higher stress (O.R. for Perceived Stress Scale-10 score >16 vs lower 3.25, 95% C.I. 1.45–7.26).
Noncognitive factors and how sites manage abnormal Pap testing affect colposcopy compliance. Educational interventions alone are unlikely to improve colposcopy compliance in similar high-risk populations.
PMCID: PMC3760241  PMID: 22227841
HPV; cervical cancer prevention; Pap test; health education; perceived stress; HIV in women
7.  Interleukin 10 Responses Are Associated With Sustained CD4 T-Cell Counts in Treated HIV Infection 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(5):780-789.
Background.Inflammation persists in treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and may contribute to an increased risk for non–AIDS-related pathologies. We investigated the correlation of cytokine responses with changes in CD4 T-cell levels and coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) during highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).
Methods.A total of 383 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (212 with HIV monoinfection, 56 with HCV monoinfection, and 115 with HIV/HCV coinfection) were studied. HIV-infected women had <1000 HIV RNA copies/mL, 99.7% had >200 CD4 T cells/μL; 98% were receiving HAART at baseline. Changes in CD4 T-cell count between baseline and 2–4 years later were calculated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained at baseline were used to measure interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10), interleukin 12 (IL-12), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) responses to Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and TLR4 stimulation.
Results.Undetectable HIV RNA (<80 copies/mL) at baseline and secretion of IL-10 by PBMCs were positively associated with gains in CD4 T-cell counts at follow-up. Inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α) were also produced in TLR-stimulated cultures, but only IL-10 was significantly associated with sustained increases in CD4 T-cell levels. This association was significant only in women with HIV monoinfection, indicating that HCV coinfection is an important factor limiting gains in CD4 T-cell counts, possibly by contributing to unbalanced persistent inflammation.
Conclusions.Secreted IL-10 from PBMCs may balance the inflammatory environment of HIV, resulting in CD4 T-cell stability.
PMCID: PMC3491747  PMID: 22693231
8.  An Investigation of the Possible Interaction between the Use of Vitamin C and Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) Adherence and Effectiveness in Treated HIV+ Women 
Our goal in this study was to examine how Vitamin C interacts with antiretroviral therapy in individuals with HIV. We specifically evaluated how Vitamin C impacts highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence and HAART effectiveness as adjudicated by HIV viral loads and CD4 cell counts. Women served as their own controls, comparing periods of Vitamin C usage with periods of non-usage.
An intra-individual, cross-sectional comparative study ‘nested’ in the WIHS observational cohort study
Women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Outcome Measures
Adherence, CD4 count and Viral load.
Our study population was drawn from 2,813 HIV+ participants who contributed 44,588 visits in WIHS from October, 1994 to April, 2009. Among them, there were 1,122 Vitamin C users with 4,954 total visits where use was reported. In the multivariate model adjusting for age, education, race, income, drug use, Vitamin C use order and depression score, there was a 44% increase in the odds of >=95% HAART adherence among participants during their period of Vitamin C use compared to when they were not using Vitamin C (OR=1.44; 95% CI=1.1–1.9; P-value=0.0179). There was an association with Vitamin C usage and CD4 counts on viral loads.
Vitamin C usage appears to be associated with improved adherence. Future Vitamin C studies should target specific HAART drugs, and prospective clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3351689  PMID: 22579434
9.  Risk of Cervical Pre-Cancer and Cancer Among HIV-Infected Women With Normal Cervical Cytology and No Evidence of Oncogenic HPV Infection 
U.S. cervical cancer screening guidelines for HIV-uninfected women 30 years of age and older have recently been revised, increasing the suggested interval between Pap tests from three years to five years among those with normal cervical cytology (the Pap test) who test negative for oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV). Whether a three-year or five-year screening interval might be used in HIV-infected women who are cytologically normal and oncogenic HPV-negative is unknown.
To determine the risk of cervical pre-cancer or cancer defined cytologically (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or greater [HSIL+]) or histologically (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or greater [CIN-2+]), as two separate endpoints, in HIV-infected women and HIV-uninfected women who at baseline had a normal Pap test and were negative for oncogenic HPV.
Design, Setting and Participants
Participants included 420 HIV-infected women and 279 HIV-uninfected women with normal cervical cytology at their enrollment in a multi-institutional cohort, between October 1, 2001 and September 30, 2002, with follow-up through April 30, 2011. Clinical sites were in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Semi-annual visits included Pap testing and, if indicated, cervical biopsy. Cervicovaginal lavage specimens from enrollment were tested for HPV DNA using PCR. The primary analysis was truncated at five years of follow-up.
Main Outcome Measure
The five-year cumulative incidence of cervical pre-cancer and cancer.
No oncogenic HPV was detected in 369 (88%; 95% CI, 84%-91%) of the HIV-infected women and 255 (91%; 95% CI, 88%-94%) of the HIV-uninfected women with normal cervical cytology at enrollment. Among these oncogenic HPV-negative women two cases of HSIL+ were observed; an HIV-uninfected woman and an HIV-infected woman with a CD4 cell count of 500/μL or greater. Histologic data were obtained from four of the six sites. There were six cases of CIN-2+ in N=145 HIV-uninfected women (cumulative incidence = 5% [95% CI, 1%-8%]) and nine cases in N=219 HIV-infected women (cumulative incidence = 5% [95% CI, 2%-8%]). This included one case of CIN-2+ in N=44 oncogenic HPV-negative HIV-infected women with CD4 cell counts less than 350/μL (cumulative incidence = 2% [95% CI, 0%-7%]), one case in N=47 women with CD4 cell counts of 350 to 499/μL (cumulative incidence = 2% [95% CI, 0%-7%]), and seven cases in N=128 women with CD4 cell counts of 500/μL or greater (cumulative incidence = 6% [95% CI, 2%-10%]). One HIV-infected and one HIV-uninfected woman had CIN-3, but none had cancer.
The five-year cumulative incidence of HSIL+ and CIN-2+ was similar in HIV-infected women and HIV-uninfected women who were cytologically normal and oncogenic HPV-negative at enrollment.
PMCID: PMC3556987  PMID: 22820789
10.  Genital Warts and Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia: Natural History and Effects of Treatment and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2011;118(4):831-839.
To describe the natural history of genital warts and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
A cohort of 2,791 HIV infected and 953 uninfected women followed for up to 13 years had genital examinations at 6-month intervals, with biopsy for lesions suspicious for VIN.
The prevalence of warts was 4.4% (5.3% for HIV seropositive women and 1.9% for seronegative women, P < 0.0001). The cumulative incidence of warts was 33% (95% C.I. 30, 36%) in HIV seropositive and 9% (95% C.I. 6, 12%) in seronegative women (P < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, lower CD4 lymphocyte count, younger age, and current smoking were strongly associated with risk for incident warts. Among 501 HIV seropositive and 43 seronegative women, warts regressed in 410 (82%) seropositive and 41 (95%) seronegative women (P = 0.02), most in the first year after diagnosis. In multivariable analysis, regression was negatively associated with HIV status and lower CD4 count as well as older age. Incident VIN of any grade occurred more frequently among HIV seropositive than seronegative women: 0.42 (0.33 – 0.53) vs 0.07 (0.02 – 0.18)/100 person-years (P < 0.0001). VIN2+ was found in 58 women (55 with and 3 without HIV, P < 0.001). Two women with HIV developed stage IB squamous cell vulvar cancers.
While genital warts and VIN are more common among HIV seropositive than seronegative women, wart regression is common even in women with HIV, and cancers are infrequent.
PMCID: PMC3178036  PMID: 21934446
11.  Short-term Garlic Supplementation and Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence, CD4+ Cell Counts, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Viral Load 
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected individuals frequently have consumed garlic, a popular complementary supplement. Researchers rarely have studied garlic’s association with antiretroviral therapies, however, even though that association is very relevant clinically.
To examine associations of supplemental use of garlic with highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) adherence level and HAART effectiveness (HIV viral load and CD4+ cell counts) in HIV-infected women.
The research team carried out a self-controlled, longitudinal study nested within the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). The team used a paired study design that allowed participants to serve as their own controls. The team first identified all of the study’s visits in which the participant self-reported the use of a garlic supplement since her last visit (index visit). Then for each index visit, the team identified a matching visit (a control visit) using the following criteria: (a) the visit must be one for the same participant in which that participant reported no garlic supplementation; (b) the visit must immediately precede the index visit (less than 1 year apart); and (c) at the time of the control visit, the participant must have been using antiretroviral therapy identical to that used at the time of the index visit.
Participants were persons using garlic supplementation who already were participants in the WIHS.
Outcome Measures
The research team used a logistic regression model to examine the association between garlic supplementation and HAART adherence level. The team used a mixed linear model to examine the association of garlic supplementation with HIV viral load and CD4+ cell counts.
From October 1994 to April 2009, 390 HIV-infected women in the WIHS made 1112 visits at which they reported using garlic supplements. Seventy-seven HIV-infected women using HAART met the research team’s selection criteria and contributed 99 pairs of visits for the study. Among the women who used garlic supplements, 22% were 50 years and older; 58% were black and non-Hispanic; and 23% had less than a high-school education. Neither use of garlic supplementation nor reasons for using garlic supplements were significantly associated with the HAART adherence level, HIV viral load, or CD4+ cell counts; however, “use garlic as needed,” a potential marker of a disease state, was significantly associated with higher viral load (P = .0003).
Short-term garlic supplementation did not impact HAART adherence level, HIV viral load, and CD4+ cell counts.
PMCID: PMC3376904  PMID: 22516847
13.  Impact of stress and depression on the frequency of squamous intraepithelial lesions 
To explore previously reported associations between cervical squamous lesions and psychological measures of stress and depression.
In a multicenter cohort study, HIV infected and seronegative comparison women had Pap tests and completed self-report questionnaires including the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS), which measures perceived stress; the PTSD Civilian Symptom Checklist (PCL-C), which measures symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder; and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), which measures depressive symptoms.
Median scores were 13 (range 0–38) for the PSS, 24 (range 17–85) for the PCL-C, and 8 (range 0–57), for the CES-D, indicating moderate stress and minimal depression. For PSS, compared to women in the lowest tertile of reported stress, O.R. for SIL was 0.88 (95% C.I. 0.50–1.54) for women in the middle tertile and 0.96 (95% C.I. 0.54–1.68) for women in the highest tertile. For PCL-C, compared to women in the lowest tertile of PTSD symptoms, O.R. for SIL was 0.79 (95% C.I. 0.43–1.41) for women in the middle tertile and 1.17 (95% C.I. 0.68–2.01) for women in the highest tertile. SIL rates were similar for CES-D scores ≥16 (compared to women with lower scores O.R. 1.41, 95% C.I. 0.88–2.26) and ≥ 23 (O.R. 1.39, 95% C.I. 0.81–2.40). In multivariable analysis including number of sexual partners, age, income, ethnicity, and serostatus, stress as measured by PSS and PCL-C, and depressive symptoms as measured by CES-D remained unassociated with SIL.
We found no evidence that stress and depression affect the prevalence of cervical squamous lesions.
PMCID: PMC3084664  PMID: 21192176
stress; depression; cervical lesion; Papanicolaou test
14.  Fracture incidence in HIV-infected women: results from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(17):2679-2686.
The clinical importance of the association of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) with low bone mineral density (BMD) in premenopausal women is uncertain because BMD stabilizes on established ART and fracture data are limited.
We measured time to first new fracture at any site with median follow-up of 5.4 years in 2391 (1728 HIV-infected, 663 HIV-uninfected) participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Self-report of fracture was recorded at semiannual visits. Proportional hazard models assessed predictors of incident fracture.
At baseline, HIV-infected women were older (40 ± 9 vs. 36 ± 10 years, P <0.0001), more likely to report postmenopausal status and be hepatitis C virus-infected, and weighed less than HIV-uninfected women. Among HIV-infected women, mean CD4+ cell count was 482 cells/μl; 66% were taking ART. Unadjusted incidence of fracture did not differ between HIV-infected and uninfected women (1.8 vs. 1.4/100 person-years, respectively, P = 0.18). In multivariate models, white (vs. African-American) race, hepatitis C virus infection, and higher serum creatinine, but not HIV serostatus, were statistically significant predictors of incident fracture. Among HIV-infected women, older age, white race, current cigarette use, and history of AIDS-defining illness were associated with incidence of new fracture.
Among predominantly premenopausal women, there was little difference in fracture incidence rates by HIV status, rather traditional risk factors were important predictors. Further research is necessary to characterize fracture risk in HIV-infected women during and after the menopausal transition.
PMCID: PMC3108019  PMID: 20859192
fracture; fragility fracture; HIV-infected women; premenopausal
15.  Relationship Between Complementary/Alternative Treatment Use and Illicit Drug Use Among a Cohort of Women with, or at Risk for, HIV Infection 
Two of the most pressing public health challenges in the United States are treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and illegal substance use. High rates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use have been reported by individuals who suffer from both of these diseases. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between CAM use and illegal substance use in a cohort of women with HIV or at risk for HIV disease. Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that CAM use may decrease substance use.
This was a longitudinal cohort study.
The subjects comprised Women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Outcome measures
The role of CAM use in illegal substance use was examined. Due to the hierarchical structure of the dataset, logistic regression analysis adjusting for repeated measurements (generalized estimating equation model) was carried out to assess associations of CAM use and illicit drug use.
There were 2176 women included in the analysis. After excluding for marijuana use, CAM use was associated with less drug use (odds ratio 0.82; 95% confidence interval: 0.73, 0.90).
The results supported our hypothesis that CAM users are more health conscious and thus less likely to use illicit drugs. Future studies should target both specific drugs and CAM modalities to help finalize this association.
PMCID: PMC3110837  PMID: 20738164
16.  Cervical Shedding of HIV-1 RNA Among Women With Low Levels of Viremia While Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy 
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.
PMCID: PMC3126662  PMID: 17106279
compartmentalization; genital; HIV; nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; protease inhibitor; undetectable; viral replication; women
17.  Knowledge of cervical cancer prevention and human papillomavirus among women with HIV 
Gynecologic oncology  2010;117(1):70-76.
To assess knowledge of and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV), Pap testing, and the HPV vaccine.
In a multicenter U.S. cohort study, women with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and at-risk comparison women completed 44-item standardized self-report questionnaires exploring their knowledge of cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination. Results were correlated with demographic variables, measures of education and attention, and medical factors. Data were clustered using principal component analysis. Significant associations were assessed in multivariable models.
Among 1588 women, HIV seropositive women better understood facts about cervical cancer prevention and HPV than seronegative women, but both had substantial knowledge deficits. Almost all women considered Pap testing important, although 53% of HIV seropositive and 48% of seronegative women considered cervical cancer not preventable (P=0.21). Only 44% of HIV seropositive women knew Paps assess the cervix, versus 42% of HIV seronegative women (P=0.57). Both groups understood that HPV causes genital warts and cervical cancer (67% of HIV seropositive vs. 55% of seronegative women, P=0.002). About half of both groups considered HPV vaccination extremely important for cervical cancer prevention. HIV seronegative women were more likely to report learning of HPV vaccination through advertising than from clinicians (81% vs. 64%, P<0.0001).
High risk women need effective education about cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3100195  PMID: 20106513
HPV; Cervical cancer prevention; Pap test; Health education; HIV in women
18.  HIV As a Risk Factor for Lung Cancer in Women: Data From the Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(9):1514-1519.
Prior reports of an increased risk of lung cancer in HIV-infected individuals have not always included control groups, nor considered other risk factors such as tobacco exposure. We sought to determine the role of HIV infection and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on lung cancer incidence in 2,651 HIV-infected and 898 HIV-uninfected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
A prospective study of the incidence rates of lung cancer was conducted, with cases identified through medical records, death certificates, and state cancer registries. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare lung cancer incidence among HIV-infected and uninfected WIHS participants, with population-based expectations using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. Behavioral characteristics in the WIHS were compared to US women by age and race adjusting the population-based data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III.
Incidence rates of lung cancer were similar among HIV-infected and uninfected WIHS women. Lung cancer SIRs were increased in both HIV-infected and -uninfected women compared with population expectations, but did not differ by HIV status. Among HIV-infected women, lung cancer incidence rates were similar in pre-HAART and HAART eras. All WIHS women with lung cancer were smokers; the risk of lung cancer increased with cumulative tobacco exposure. WIHS women were statistically more likely to smoke than US women studied in NHANES III.
HIV infection is strongly associated with smoking behaviors that increase lung cancer risk. The role of HIV itself remains to be clarified.
PMCID: PMC2849771  PMID: 20177022
19.  Influence of Adherent and Effective Antiretroviral Therapy Use on Human Papillomavirus Infection and Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in HIV-Positive Women 
The impact of HAART on the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) remains uncertain following conflicting reports. Prior studies, however, did not consider patients’ adherence to their regimen, or HAART effectiveness (viral suppression).
HIV-positive women (N=286) who initiated HAART during follow-up in a prospective cohort were assessed semiannually for HPV (by PCR) and SIL. Adherence was defined as using HAART as prescribed ≥95% of the time, and effective HAART as suppression of HIV replication. The prevalence, incident detection, clearance/persistence of HPV/SIL before versus after HAART initiation were compared (using women as their own comparison group).
HAART initiation among adherent women was associated with a significant reduction in prevalence (odds ratio [OR] 0.60 [95% CI 0.44–0.81];p=0.001), incident detection of oncogenic HPV (hazard ratio [HR] 0.49 [0.30–0.82];p=0.006), and decreased prevalence and more rapid clearance of oncogenic HPV-positive SIL (HR 2.35 [1.07–5.18];p=0.03). Effects were smaller among non-adherent women. The associations of HPV/SIL with HAART effectiveness were fairly similar to those with HAART adherence.
Effective and adherent HAART use is associated with a significantly reduced burden of HPV and SIL; this may help explain why rates of cervical cancer have not increased during the HAART era, despite greater longevity.
PMCID: PMC2818607  PMID: 20105077
HIV; human papillomavirus; HPV; HAART; SIL; cervical neoplasia
20.  Histologic Correlates of Glandular Abnormalities in Cervical Cytology Among Women With Human Immunodeficiency Virus 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2009;114(5):1063-1068.
To estimate the frequency and histologic correlates of glandular abnormalities in cervical cytology among women with the human immunodeficiency virus and to compare findings with those of women without HIV.
In a cohort study of HIV infected and uninfected women followed between 1994 and 2007, Pap tests were obtained every 6 months. Glandular abnormalities, including atypical glandular cells (AGC), adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), and adenocarcinoma, were identified and correlated with biopsy histology. Multivariate models to summarize data across visits used Generalized Estimating Equations. The association of Pap and histology results was assessed using chi-square tests.
Of 48,362 Pap tests from 3,766 women, glandular abnormalities were found in 341 (0.7%) smears from 244 (6%) women, including 93 (1.0%) of 9,564 Pap tests among HIV-seropositive women with CD4 lymphocyte counts less than 250/cmm, 103 (0.8%) of 13,023 Paps among those with counts 250–500/cmm, 68 (0.6%) of 12,470 Paps among women with counts greater than 500/cmm, and 70 (0.6%) of 11,769 Paps among HIV-seronegative women (P for trend = 0.006). Colposcopy was documented for only 148 (61%) of 244 index Pap tests in women with glandular abnormalities. After index abnormal Paps, endocervical curettings were obtained from 106 (43%) women, cervical biopsies from 76 (38%), and endometrial biopsies from 19 (8%). Squamous lesions predominated among histologic findings and histology results did not differ by HIV serostatus (P = 0.16).
Although immunosuppression increased the risk of glandular Pap abnormalities increased in women with HIV, these remained uncommon. Compliance with management guidelines can improved.
PMCID: PMC3032588  PMID: 20168108
21.  Marginal and Mixed Effects Models in the Analysis of HPV Natural History Data 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) natural history has several characteristics that, at least from a statistical perspective, are not often encountered elsewhere in infectious disease and cancer research. There are, for example, multiple HPV types, and infection by each HPV type may be considered separate events. While concurrent infections are common, the prevalence, incidence, duration/persistence of each individual HPV can be separately measured. However, repeated measures involving the same subject tend to be correlated. The probability of detecting any given HPV type, for example, is greater among individuals who are currently positive for at least one other HPV type. Serial testing for HPV over time represents a second form of repeated measures. Statistical inferences that fail to take these correlations into account would be invalid. However, methods that do not use all the data would be inefficient. Marginal and mixed effects models can address these issues, but are not frequently utilized in HPV research. The current paper provides an overview of these methods, and then uses HPV data from a cohort of HIV-positive women to illustrate how they may be applied, and compare their results. The findings show the greater efficiency of these models compared with standard logistic regression and Cox models. Because mixed effects models estimate subject-specific associations, they sometimes gave much higher effect estimates than marginal models, which estimate population-averaged associations. Overall, the results demonstrate that marginal and mixed effects models are efficient for studying HPV natural history, but also highlight the importance of understanding how these models differ.
PMCID: PMC2839537  PMID: 20056635
statistical methods; cervical neoplasia; human papillomavirus; HPV; HIV; frailty models; mixed effects models; WLW models; frailty models
22.  HIV Tropism and Decreased Risk of Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14349.
During the first two decades of the U.S. AIDS epidemic, and unlike some malignancies, breast cancer risk was significantly lower for women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection compared to the general population. This deficit in HIV-associated breast cancer could not be attributed to differences in survival, immune deficiency, childbearing or other breast cancer risk factors. HIV infects mononuclear immune cells by binding to the CD4 molecule and to CCR5 or CXCR4 chemokine coreceptors. Neoplastic breast cells commonly express CXCR4 but not CCR5. In vitro, binding HIV envelope protein to CXCR4 has been shown to induce apoptosis of neoplastic breast cells. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that breast cancer risk would be lower among women with CXCR4-tropic HIV infection.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a breast cancer nested case-control study among women who participated in the WIHS and HERS HIV cohort studies with longitudinally collected risk factor data and plasma. Cases were HIV-infected women (mean age 46 years) who had stored plasma collected within 24 months of breast cancer diagnosis and an HIV viral load ≥500 copies/mL. Three HIV-infected control women, without breast cancer, were matched to each case based on age and plasma collection date. CXCR4-tropism was determined by a phenotypic tropism assay. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for breast cancer were estimated by exact conditional logistic regression. Two (9%) of 23 breast cancer cases had CXCR4-tropic HIV, compared to 19 (28%) of 69 matched controls. Breast cancer risk was significantly and independently reduced with CXCR4 tropism (adjusted odds ratio, 0.10, 95% CI 0.002–0.84) and with menopause (adjusted odds ratio, 0.08, 95% CI 0.001–0.83). Adjustment for CD4+ cell count, HIV viral load, and use of antiretroviral therapy did not attenuate the association between infection with CXCR4-tropic HIV and breast cancer.
Low breast cancer risk with HIV is specifically linked to CXCR4-using variants of HIV. These variants are thought to exclusively bind to and signal through a receptor that is commonly expressed on hyperplastic and neoplastic breast duct cells. Additional studies are needed to confirm these observations and to understand how CXCR4 might reduce breast cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3002931  PMID: 21179547
23.  Disclosure of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use to Health Care Providers among HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2009;23(11):965-971.
To determine prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use disclosure to health care providers and whether CAM use disclosure is associated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence among HIV-infected women, we analyzed longitudinal data collected between October 1994 and March 2002 from HIV-infected CAM-using women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Repeated measures Poisson regression models were constructed to evaluate associations of selected predictors with CAM use disclosure and association between CAM use disclosure and HAART adherence. A total of 1377 HIV-infected women reported CAM use during study follow-up and contributed a total of 4689 CAM-using person visits. The overall prevalence of CAM use disclosure to health care providers was 36% across study visits. Women over 45 years old, with a college education, or with health insurance coverage were more likely to disclose their CAM use to health care providers, whereas women identified as non-Hispanic Black or other ethnicities were less likely to communicate their CAM usage. More health care provider visits, more CAM domains used, and higher health care satisfaction scores had significant relationships with increased levels of CAM use disclosure. Restricting analysis to use of herbal or nonherbal medications only, similar results were obtained. Compared to other CAM domains, mind–body practice had the lowest prevalence of CAM use disclosure. Additionally, CAM use disclosure was significantly associated with higher HAART adherence. From this study, we showed that a high percentage of HIV-infected women did not discuss their CAM use with health care providers. Interventions targeted towards both physicians and patients may enhance communication of CAM use, avoid potential adverse events and drug interactions, and enhance HAART adherence.
PMCID: PMC2801553  PMID: 19821723
24.  Factors Associated with Prevalent Hepatitis C Infection Among HIV-Infected Women with No Reported History of Injection Drug Use: The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2009;23(11):915-923.
Although the primary mode of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission is exposure to blood products or injection drug use (IDU), studies have found varying independent risk factors for HCV infection among persons with no history of IDU or exposure to blood products. For HIV-infected women, sexual transmission may be another potential source of HCV infection. HIV-infected and HIV-negative women at risk for HIV enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) during October 1994 to November 1995 and again between October 2001 and November 2002 were studied. Clinical and demographic factors associated with HCV seroprevalence were assessed in multivariate logistic regression models controlling for history of blood transfusion and IDU. Among 3636 women with HCV results, 31.5% were HCV antibody positive (HCV+) including 13.5% with no reported history of IDU or blood transfusions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses stratified on IDU showed that among women with no history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV positivity (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence [CI] = 2.1, 3.8, p < 0.0001) after controlling for blood transfusion, age, HIV infection, unemployment, birth in the United States, history of hepatitis B infection, and current smoking status. Further stratification on HIV status showed that the association was significant only for the HIV+ (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3, 2.7, p = 0.0007) compared to the HIV− women (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.4, 2.7) although these odds ratios were not significantly different (p = 0.25). For HIV-positive women with no reported history of IDU, sex with an IDU male was independently associated with HCV suggesting that sexual transmission may be an important mode of HCV transmission for these high-risk women.
PMCID: PMC2823487  PMID: 19877800

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