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1.  Microbial Translocation and Liver Disease Progression in Women Coinfected With HIV and Hepatitis C Virus 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(4):679-689.
Background. Microbial translocation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. We sought to determine whether markers of microbial translocation are associated with liver disease progression during coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Methods. We measured serial plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS), endotoxin core antibody, intestinal fatty acid–binding protein (I-FABP), soluble CD14 (sCD14), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels over a 5-year period in 44 HIV/HCV-coinfected women, 21 of whom experienced liver disease progression and 23 were nonprogressors.
Results. While LPS levels did not differ significantly over time between progressors and nonprogressors (P = .60), progressors had significantly higher plasma levels of sCD14, a marker of monocyte activation by LPS, at the first time point measured (P = .03) and throughout the study period (P = .001); progressors also had higher IL-6 and I-FABP levels over the 5-year study period (P = .02 and .03, respectively). The associations between progression and sCD14, I-FABP, and IL-6 levels were unchanged in models controlling for HIV RNA and CD4+ T-cell count.
Conclusions. Although LPS levels did not differ between liver disease progressors and nonprogressors, the association of sCD14, I-FABP, and IL-6 levels with liver disease progression suggests that impairment of gut epithelial integrity and consequent microbial translocation may play a role in the complex interaction of HIV and HCV pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3719907  PMID: 23687224
HIV; hepatitis C; microbial translocation; fibrosis; liver disease progression; soluble CD14
2.  Cleavage/Alteration of Interleukin-8 by Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in the Female Lower Genital Tract 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116911.
Interleukin-8 (IL-8, CXCL8) plays important roles in immune responses at mucosal sites including in the lower genital tract. Since several types of bacteria produce proteases that cleave IL-8 and many types of bacteria can be present in lower genital tract microbiota, we assessed genital fluids for IL-8 cleavage/alteration.
Study Design
Genital fluids collected by lavage from 200 women (23 HIV-seronegative and 177 HIV-seropositive) were tested for IL-8 cleavage/alteration by ELISA.
IL-8 cleaving/altering activity was observed in fluids from both HIV-positive (28%) and HIV-negative women (35%). There was no clear relationship between the activity and the types of bacteria present in the lower genital tract as determined by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Protease inhibitors specific for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) reduced the activity and a multiplex assay that detects both inactive and active MMPs showed the presence of multiple MMPs, including MMP-1, -3, -7, -8, -9, -10 and -12 in genital secretions from many of the women. The IL-8-cleaving/altering activity significantly correlated with active MMP-9 as well as with cleavage of a substrate that is acted on by several active MMPs.
These studies show that multiple MMPs are present in the genital tract of women and strongly suggest that MMP-9 in genital secretions can cleave IL-8 at this mucosal site. These studies suggest that MMP-mediated cleavage of IL-8 can modulate inflammatory responses in the lower genital tract.
PMCID: PMC4303271  PMID: 25611319
3.  Prevalence and Long-Term Effects of Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in HIV-Infected Women 
Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is of concern in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons. We observed that 2% of 400 HIV-infected women with antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen alone had occult HBV infection (i.e., detectable HBV DNA in the absence of HBV surface antigen). CD4 cell counts of <200 cells/mm3 were more common among occult HBV-infected women than among those without occult HBV infection. Aminotransferase levels did not appear to be associated with being positive for HBV DNA.
PMCID: PMC4142488  PMID: 17712758
5.  Comparison of Lower Genital Tract Microbiota in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Women from Rwanda and the US 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96844.
Previous studies have shown that alterations of the bacterial microbiota in the lower female genital tract influence susceptibility to HIV infection and shedding. We assessed geographic differences in types of genital microbiota between HIV-infected and uninfected women from Rwanda and the United States.
Genera of lower genital tract bacterial microbiota were identified by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from 46 US women (36 HIV-infected, 10 HIV-uninfected) and 40 Rwandan women (18 HIV-infected, 22 HIV-uninfected) with similar proportions of low (0–3) Nugent scores. Species of Lactobacillus were identified by assembling sequences along with reference sequences into phylogenetic trees. Prevalence of genera and Lactobacillus species were compared using Fisher's exact tests.
Overall the seven most prevalent genera were Lactobacillus (74%), Prevotella (56%), Gardnerella (55%), Atopobium (42%), Sneathia (37%), Megasphaera (30%), and Parvimonas (26%), observed at similar prevalences comparing Rwandan to US women, except for Megasphaera (20% vs. 39%, p = 0.06). Additionally, Rwandan women had higher frequencies of Mycoplasma (23% vs. 7%, p = 0.06) and Eggerthella (13% vs. 0%, p = 0.02), and lower frequencies of Lachnobacterium (8% vs. 35%, p<0.01) and Allisonella (5% vs. 30%, p<0.01), compared with US women. The prevalence of Mycoplasma was highest (p<0.05) in HIV-infected Rwandan women (39%), compared to HIV-infected US women (6%), HIV-uninfected Rwandan (9%) and US (10%) women. The most prevalent lactobacillus species in both Rwandan and US women was L. iners (58% vs. 76%, p = 0.11), followed by L. crispatus (28% vs. 30%, p = 0.82), L. jensenii (20% vs. 24%, p = 0.80), L. gasseri (20% vs. 11%, p = 0.37) and L. vaginalis (20% vs. 7%, p = 0.10).
We found similar prevalence of most major bacterial genera and Lactobacillus species in Rwandan and US women. Further work will be needed to establish whether observed differences differentially impact lower genital tract health or susceptibility to genital infections.
PMCID: PMC4016010  PMID: 24817204
6.  Capacity for Infectious HIV-1 Virion Capture Differs by Envelope Antibody Specificity 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(9):5165-5170.
Antibody capacity to recognize infectious virus is a prerequisite of many antiviral functions. We determined the infectious virion capture index (IVCI) of different antibody specificities. Whereas broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), except for an MPER bNAb, selectively captured infectious virions, non-bNAbs and mucosal human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-positive IgG captured subsets of both infectious and noninfectious virions. Infectious virion capture was additive with a mixture of antibodies, providing proof of concept for vaccine-induced antibodies that together have improved capacity to recognize infectious virions.
PMCID: PMC3993833  PMID: 24554654
7.  Vitamin D insufficiency may impair CD4 recovery among Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants with advanced disease on HAART 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(4):573-578.
Recent studies in HIV-infected men report an association between low vitamin D (25OH-D) and CD4 recovery on HAART. We sought to test this relationship in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
We examined 204 HIV-infected women with advanced disease, who started HAART after enrollment in the WIHS. We measured vitamin D (25OH-D) levels about 6 months prior to HAART initiation. The relationship between CD4 recovery (defined as increases of ≥50, 100, and 200 cells at 6, 12, and 24 months) and exposure variables was examined using logistic regression models at 6, 12 and 24 months post-HAART initiation in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, and using multivariable longitudinal Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25OH-D levels at least 30 ng/ml.
The majority were non-Hispanic black (60%) and had insufficient vitamin D levels (89%). In adjusted analyses, at 24 months after HAART, insufficient vitamin D level (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05–0.83) was associated with decreased odds of CD4 recovery. The undetectable viral load (OR 11.38, 95% CI 4.31–30.05) was associated with CD4 recovery. The multivariable GEE model found that average immune reconstitution attenuated significantly (P <0.01) over time among those with insufficient vitamin D levels compared with those with sufficient vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with diminished late CD4 recovery after HAART initiation among US women living with advanced HIV. The mechanism of this association on late CD4 recovery may be late vitamin D-associated production of naive CD4 cells during immune reconstitution.
PMCID: PMC3902982  PMID: 23095316
antiretroviral therapy; HIV; immune reconstitution; vitamin D; women
8.  Lower Liver-Related Death in African American Women With HIV/HCV Co-Infection Compared to Caucasian and Hispanic Women 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2012;56(5):1699-1705.
Among individuals with and without concurrent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), racial/ethnic differences in the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been described. African-Americans have lower spontaneous HCV clearance than Caucasians, yet slower rates of liver fibrosis once chronically infected. It is not clear how these differences in the natural history of hepatitis C affect mortality, in either HIV positive or negative individuals. We conducted a cohort study of HIV/HCV co-infected women followed in the multicenter, NIH-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) to determine the association of self-reported race/ethnicity with all-cause and liver-related mortality. Survival analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards models. The eligible cohort (n=794) included 140 Caucasians, 159 Hispanics, and 495 African Americans. There were 438 deaths and 49 liver-related deaths during a median follow-up of 8.9 years and maximum follow-up of 16 years. African American co-infected women had significantly lower liver-related mortality compared to Caucasian (HR 0.41 95% CI 0.19–0.88, p=0.022) and Hispanic co-infected women (HR 0.38 95% CI 0.19–0.76, p=0.006). All-cause mortality was similar between racial/ethnic groups (HRs for all comparisons 0.82–1.03, logrank p=0.8).
African American co-infected women were much less likely to die from liver disease as compared to Caucasians and Hispanics, independent of other causes of death. Future studies are needed to investigate the reasons for this marked racial/ethnic discrepancy in liver-related mortality.
PMCID: PMC3440547  PMID: 22618868
race; ethnicity; viral hepatitis; mortality; gender
9.  Assessing mortality in women with hepatitis C virus and HIV using indirect markers of fibrosis 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(5):599-607.
Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. However, predictors of mortality are poorly defined and most studies have focused predominantly on co-infection in men. We evaluated whether two indirect markers of hepatic fibrosis, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 scores, were predictive of mortality in a well defined longitudinal cohort of HCV/HIV-co-infected women on HAART.
HCV/HIV-co-infected women on antiretroviral therapy enrolled in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a National Institutes of Health-funded prospective, multicenter, cohort study of women with and at risk for HIV infection were included. Using Cox regression analysis, associations between APRI and FIB-4 with all-cause mortality were assessed.
Four hundred and fifty HCV/HIV-co-infected women, of whom 191 women died, had a median follow-up of 6.6 years and 5739 WIHS visits. Compared with women with low APRI or FIB-4 levels, severe fibrosis was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality {APRI: hazard ratio 2.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.87, 4.12]; FIB-4: hazard ratio 2.58 (95% CI 1.68, 3.95)}. Crude death rates per 1000 patient-years increased with increasing liver fibrosis: 34.8 for mild, 51.3 for moderate and 167.9 for severe fibrosis as measured by FIB-4. Importantly, both APRI and FIB-4 increased during the 5 years prior to death for all women: the slope of increase was greater for women dying a liver-related death compared with nonliver-related death.
Both APRI and FIB-4 are independently associated with all-cause mortality in HCV/HIV-co-infected women and may have clinical prognostic utility among women with HIV and HCV.
PMCID: PMC3698040  PMID: 22156972
fibrosis markers; hepatitis C virus; HIV; longitudinal study; mortality
10.  Racial/Ethnic Differences in Spontaneous HCV Clearance in HIV Infected and Uninfected Women 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2012;58(5):1341-1348.
Among individuals without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), African Americans have lower spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than Caucasians, and women have higher clearance than men. Few studies report racial/ethnic differences in acute HCV in HIV infected, or Hispanic women. We examined racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance in a population of HCV mono- and co-infected women.
We conducted a cross sectional study of HCV seropositive women (897 HIV infected and 168 HIV uninfected) followed in the US multicenter, NIH-funded Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), to determine the association of race/ethnicity with spontaneous HCV clearance, as defined by undetectable HCV RNA at study entry.
Among HIV and HCV seropositive women, 18.7 % were HCV RNA negative, 60.9 % were African American, 19.3 % Hispanic and 17.7 % Caucasian. HIV infected African American women were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanic (OR 0.59, 95 % CI 0.38–0.93, p = 0.022) or Caucasian women (OR 0.57, 95 % CI 0.36–0.93, p = 0.023). Among HIV uninfected women, African Americans had less HCV clearance than Hispanics (OR 0.18, 95 % CI 0.07–0.48, p = 0.001) or Caucasians (OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.09–0.79, p = 0.017). There were no significant differences in HCV clearance between Hispanics and Caucasians, among either HIV infected (OR 0.97, 95 % CI 0.57–1.66, p = 0.91) or uninfected (OR 1.45, 95 % CI 0.56–3.8, p = 0.45) women.
African Americans were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanics or Caucasians, regardless of HIV status. No significant differences in spontaneous HCV clearance were observed between Caucasian and Hispanic women. Future studies incorporating IL28B genotype may further explain these observed racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance.
PMCID: PMC3663918  PMID: 23179159
African American; Hispanic; Acute hepatitis C; Female
11.  The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(4):527-531.
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.
PMCID: PMC3507535  PMID: 18301066
aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI; hepatitis C virus (HCV); HIV; IGFBP-3; IGF; liver disease
Cytokine  2011;56(2):325-331.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the worldwide leading cause of death among HIV-infected individuals, accounting for more than half of AIDS-related deaths. A high risk of tuberculosis (TB) has been shown in early stages of the HIV disease, even in the presence of normal CD4+ cell counts. Moreover, the factors that determine protective immunity vs. susceptibility to M. tuberculosis cannot be fully explained by simple changes in IFNγ levels or a shift from Th1 to Th2 cytokines. This work investigated the relationship between cytokine expression profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and susceptibility to M. tuberculosis in ten HIV+ women who went on to develop TB. RNA transcripts for IL-4, IL-4δ2, IL-10, IL-12(p35), IL-13, IL-17A, IFNγ and TNFα were measured by real-time quantitative PCR in unstimulated or TB peptide antigen-stimulated PBMCs from ten HIV+ women with positive tuberculin skin tests (TST) and compared with HIV-seropositive and seronegative women without previous TB and negative TST. Stimulated PBMC cultures showed significantly lower expression of IL-12p35 (p=0.004) and IL-10 (p=0.026) in the HIV+TB+ group six to twelve months before onset of TB compared to HIV+TB− women. Unstimulated PBMC from HIV+TB+ women also had lower expression of Th2 cytokines [IL-4 (p=0.056) and IL-13 (p=0.050)] compared to HIV+TB− women. These results suggest that lower IL-12 production by PBMC in response to TB antigens and lower levels of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines by PBMC correlate with future development of TB in HIV-infected women and may be responsible for their increased susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3466167  PMID: 21880503
Interferon-γ(IFNγ); Interleukin-4 (IL-4); Interleukin-12 (IL-12); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Tuberculosis (TB)
13.  The Association of HIV Status with Bacterial Vaginosis and Vitamin D in the United States 
Journal of Women's Health  2011;20(10):1497-1503.
To estimate the association between vitamin D deficiency and bacterial vaginosis (BV) among nonpregnant HIV-infected and uninfected women.
In a substudy of the Women's Interagency HIV Study, including women from Chicago and New York, the association between BV and vitamin D deficiency, demographics, and disease characteristics was tested using generalized estimating equations. Deficiency was defined as <20 ng/mL 25 (OH) vitamin D and insufficiency as >20 and ≤30 ng/mL. BV was defined by the Amsel criteria.
Among 602 observations of nonpregnant women (480 HIV infected and 122 uninfected), BV was found in 19%. Vitamin D deficiency was found in 59.4%, and insufficiency was found in 24.4%. In multivariable analysis, black race was the most significant predictor of BV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.90, (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.52-13.8). Vitamin D deficiency was independently associated with BV among HIV-infected women (AOR 3.12, 95% CI 1.16-8.38) but not among HIV-uninfected women. There was a negative linear correlation between vitamin D concentration and prevalence of BV in HIV-infected women (r=−0.15, p=0.001).
Vitamin D deficiency was very common in this cohort and significantly associated with BV among HIV-infected women. These preliminary findings suggest that further epidemiologic and mechanistic exploration of the relationship between vitamin D and BV in HIV-infected women is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3233211  PMID: 21875343
14.  Seroincidence of 2009 H1N1 infection in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women prior to vaccine availability 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(9):1229-1232.
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a unique opportunity to investigate differences in influenza infection using serology by HIV status. Using serial serum specimens collected from 1 April to 30 September 2009 and the prior 2 years from Women’s Interagency HIV study participants, there was no difference in serologic evidence of 2009 H1N1 infection among HIV-infected women with a CD4 cell count at least 350 cells/µl compared with HIV-uninfected women. Owing to evidence showing a greater risk of influenza-related complications, HIV-infected individuals should continue to be a priority group for vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3442364  PMID: 21505313
15.  Vitamin D deficiency in HIV-infected and un-infected women in the US 
Vitamin D deficiency is of increasing concern in HIV-infected persons, because of its reported association with a number of negative health outcomes that are common in HIV. We undertook this study to determine the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency among a nationally representative cohort of middle-aged, ethnically diverse HIV-infected and uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS).
Vitamin D testing was performed by Quest Diagnostics on frozen sera using the liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) method. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25 (OH) D ≤20 ng/ml. Comparisons of continuous and categorical characteristics among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women were made by Wilcoxon tests and Pearson chi-squared tests, respectively.
1778 women (1268 HIV+) were studied. 63% had vitamin D deficiency (60% HIV +vs. 72% HIV−; p<0.001). Multivariable predictors of Vitamin D Deficiency were being African American (AOR 3.02), Hispanic (AOR 1.40), Body mass index (AOR 1.43), Age (AOR 0.84), HIV+ (AOR 0.76), Glomerular filtration rate <90/ml/min (AOR 0.94) and WIHS site; Los Angeles (AOR 0.66), Chicago (AOR 0.63). In the HIV+ women multivariate predictors were; undetectable HIVRNA (AOR 0.69), CD4 50–200 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.60), CD4 <50 cells/mm3 (AOR 1.94) and recent Protease Inhibitor use (AOR 0.67).
In this study of over 1700 women in the US, most women with or without HIV infection had low vitamin D levels and African American women had the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency. An understanding of the role that vitamin D deficiency plays in non-AIDS related morbidities is planned for investigation in WIHS.
PMCID: PMC3431159  PMID: 21471818
Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency; HIV infected; HIV uninfected
16.  Lack of Increased Hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected Pregnant Women Receiving Nevirapine Compared to Other Antiretrovirals 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(1):109-114.
To estimate whether HIV-infected pregnant women were at increased risk of hepatotoxicity when taking nevirapine (NVP) containing regimens compared to HIV-infected pregnant women taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) not containing NVP.
This analysis included HIV-infected pregnant women on ART from two multicenter, prospective cohorts: The Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) protocol P1025. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to investigate the association between NVP use and hepatotoxicity. NVP use was dichotomized as use or no use and further categorized according to ART exposure history. We investigated two outcomes: any liver enzyme elevation (LEE) (grade 1-4) and severe LEE (grade 3-4).
A total of 1229 women with ART use during pregnancy were studied, 218 (17.7%) of whom received NVP. Among the women receiving NVP, 137 (62.8%) were NVP naïve. Twenty-nine women (13.3%) who received NVP developed any LEE and one (0.5%) developed severe LEE. Of the 1011 women on non-NVP regimens, 145 (14.3%) developed any LEE and 14 (1.4%) developed severe LEE. There were no maternal deaths. In univariate models, LEE was not significantly associated with CD4+ count > 250 cells/μL or NVP use. In adjusted multivariate models, no significant increased risk of LEE (any or severe) in women taking NVP was detected as compared to those taking other ART regardless of prior exposure history.
We did not observe an increased risk of hepatotoxicity among HIV-infected pregnant women on NVP versus other ART, including women who were ART naïve.
PMCID: PMC3388940  PMID: 19926957
AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; hepatotoxicity; HIV; nevirapine; pregnancy; women
17.  Isolated Hepatitis B Core Antibody Is Associated with HIV and Ongoing but Not Resolved Hepatitis C Virus Infection in a Cohort of US Women 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2007;195(10):1437-1442.
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.
PMCID: PMC3133731  PMID: 17436223
18.  Pyrosequencing of the Genital Microbiotas of HIV-Seropositive and -Seronegative Women Reveals Lactobacillus iners as the Predominant Lactobacillus Species▿  
The species of vaginal lactobacilli in HIV-seropositive and -seronegative women were determined by 16S gene pyrosequencing. Lactobacillus iners sequences were the predominant lactobacillus sequences in 66% of HIV+ women and 90% of HIV− women. This has implications for resistance of HIV+ and HIV− women to genital colonization by pathogenic organisms.
PMCID: PMC3019699  PMID: 21075899
19.  Causes of Death among Women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
The American journal of medicine  2002;113(2):91-98.
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.
PMCID: PMC3126666  PMID: 12133746
20.  Prevalence of Clinical Symptoms Associated with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
The extended use of antiretroviral drugs among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–seropositive individuals underscores the need for a comprehensive evaluation of therapy-associated clinical symptoms.
Beginning in April 2000, 364 HIV-seronegative and 1256 HIV-seropositive women enrolled in a multicenter cohort study reported clinical symptoms that included abdominal pain, diarrhea, anorexia, nausea and/or vomiting, myalgias, fatigue, fever, body fat redistribution, dizziness, headaches, paresthesias, xerostomia, nephrolithiasis, and rash. We examined the prevalence of symptoms with respect to HIV infection and the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), using data-correlation models.
In the 6 months before a study visit, 49% of HIV-seronegative women, 67% of HIV-seropositive women not receiving therapy, and 69% of HIV-seropositive women receiving HAART reported any clinical symptom. The odds ratios (ORs) for reporting any symptom were 1.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–1.8) for women who changed HAART regimens and 0.9 (95% CI, 0.7–1.1) for women reporting stable HAART use, compared with those reporting no therapy use. Significant findings (P < .05) for particular symptoms were an increased odds of diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, body fat redistribution, myalgias, and paresthesias, when data for women who changed HAART regimens were compared with those for women not receiving therapy. The OR for reporting any symptom was 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2–1.9) for women who switched HAART regimens and 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3–1.9) for women who discontinued HAART, compared with those reporting stable HAART use.
Our findings confirm the high prevalence of clinical symptoms among HIV-seropositive women who changed HAART regimens. The high prevalence of symptoms among HIV-seronegative women and HIV-seropositive women not receiving therapy demonstrates that caution should be used when attributing the occurrence of symptoms entirely to HAART.
PMCID: PMC3118991  PMID: 15356788
21.  Association between Syphilis, Antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2, and Recreational Drug Use and Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Liver disease is a leading cause of death in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected women; however, risk factors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in this population have not been well studied.
We describe the seroprevalence and predictors of HBV infection in a cross-sectional analysis of 2132 women with and at risk for HIV infection enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study during the periods 1994–95 and 2001–02. Any test result positive for antibody to hepatitis B core antigen defined infection; those women with serological evidence of vaccine immunity were excluded from analysis. Women were stratified into those with a history of injection drug use (IDU), those with a history of noninjection drug use (non-IDU), and those with no history of illicit drug use.
Of 1606 HIV-infected and 526 HIV-uninfected women, 7% and 12%, respectively, appeared to be vaccine immune. After exclusion of these women, 43% of 1500 HIV-infected and 22% of 461 HIV-uninfected women had HBV infection. HBV infection prevalence differed among the IDU, non-IDU, and no illicit drug use groups (76%, 30%, and 17%, respectively; P < .0001). HBV infection was strongly associated with herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) seropositivity in the IDU group (odds ratio [OR], 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–5.4) and with a history of syphilis in the non-IDU group (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4–5.0).
We found a high prevalence of HBV infection in our cohort of women with and at risk for HIV infection. HSV-2 seropositivity and a history of syphilis appeared to be important correlates of HBV infection. Sexual transmission of HBV, particularly in those with a history of genital ulcer disease, should be a major focus of education in all high-risk groups.
PMCID: PMC3118996  PMID: 15494914
22.  Increased Circulating Interleukin-7 Levels in HIV-1–Infected Women 
Sex-based differences in CD4 T-cell (CD4) counts are well recognized, but the basis for these differences has not been identified. Conceivably, homeostatic factors may play a role in this process by regulating T-cell maintenance and repletion. Interleukin (IL)-7 is essential for normal T-cell production and homeostasis. We hypothesized that differences in IL-7 might contribute to sex-based differences in CD4 counts. Circulating IL-7 levels were analyzed in 299 HIV-1–infected women and men. Regression analysis estimated that IL-7 levels were 40% higher in women than in men (P = 0.0032) after controlling for CD4 count, age, and race. Given the important role of IL-7 in T-cell development and homeostasis, these findings suggest that higher IL-7 levels may contribute to higher CD4 counts in women.
PMCID: PMC3119025  PMID: 16284535
interleukin-7; sexual dimorphism; CD4-positive T cells; cytokines; sex differences
23.  Prevalence and Predictors of Toxoplasma Seropositivity in Women with and at Risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
We assessed the prevalence and predictors of latent Toxoplasma infection in a large group of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and HIV-uninfected at-risk US women. The prevalence of latent Toxoplasma infection was 15% (380 of 2525 persons) and did not differ by HIV infection status. HIV-infected women aged ≥50 years and those born outside of the United States were more likely to have latent Toxoplasma infection, with prevalences of 32% and 41%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3119037  PMID: 12439806
24.  Predictors of reported influenza vaccination in HIV-infected women in the United States, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons 
Preventive medicine  2010;50(5-6):223-229.
To estimate the cumulative incidence of self-reported influenza vaccination (“vaccination coverage”) and investigate predictors in HIV-infected women.
In an ongoing cohort study of HIV-infected women in five US cities, data from two influenza seasons (2006-07 n=1,209 and 2007-08 n=1,161) were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals ([,]) from Poisson regression with robust variance models using generalized estimating equations (GEE).
In our study, 55% and 57% of HIV-infected women reported vaccination during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, respectively. Using data from both seasons, older age, non-smoking status, CD4 T-lymphocyte (CD4) count ≥200 cells/mm3, and reporting at least one recent healthcare visit was associated with increased vaccination coverage. In the 2007-08 season, a belief in the protection of the vaccine (aPR=1.38 [1.18, 1.61]) and influenza vaccination in the previous season (aPR=1.66 [1.44, 1.91]) most strongly predicted vaccination status.
Interventions to reach unvaccinated HIV-infected women should focus on changing beliefs about the effectiveness of influenza vaccination and target younger women, current smokers, those without recent healthcare visits, or a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3.
PMCID: PMC2883293  PMID: 20303362
HIV/AIDS; highly active antiretroviral therapy; influenza vaccine; vaccine coverage; multi-center study; cohort study; United States; adult; female
25.  Increased Risk of Hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected Pregnant Women Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy Independent of Nevirapine Exposure 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(18):2425-2430.
To estimate whether the association between nevirapine (NVP) and hepatotoxicity differs according to pregnancy status in HIV-infected women.
This analysis included HIV-infected pregnant women on ART from two multicenter, prospective cohorts: The Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) protocol P1025 and HIV-infected non-pregnant women from one multicenter, prospective cohort: The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression, the interaction between NVP and pregnancy status in terms of hepatotoxicity was investigated. NVP use was dichotomized as use or no use and was further categorized according to ART exposure history. We investigated two outcomes: any liver enzyme elevation (LEE) (grade 1-4) and severe LEE (grade 3-4).
Data on 2050 HIV-infected women taking ART were included, 1229 (60.0%) pregnant and 821 (40.0%) non-pregnant. Among the pregnant women, 174 (14.2%) developed any LEE and 15 (1.2%) developed severe LEE as compared to 75 (9.1%) and 5 (0.6%) respectively of the non-pregnant women. In multivariate adjusted models, NVP was not significantly associated with risk of LEE regardless of pregnancy status; however, pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of any LEE (RR 4.7, CI 3.4 – 6.5) and severe LEE (RR 3.8, CI 1.3 – 11.1). The association of pregnancy and LEE was seen regardless of prior ART and NVP exposure history.
No significant association between NVP and LEE was observed regardless of pregnancy status, but pregnancy was significantly associated with increased hepatotoxocity in HIV-infected women.
PMCID: PMC2783653  PMID: 19617813
AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; hepatotoxicity; HIV; nevirapine; pregnancy; women

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