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1.  CHARACTERISTICS OF MULTIPLE AND CONCURRENT PARTNERSHIPS AMONG WOMEN AT HIGH RISK FOR HIV INFECTION 
Objectives
We examined parameters of sexual partnerships, including respondents’ participation in concurrency, belief that their partner had concurrent partnerships (partners’ concurrency), and partnership intervals, among the 2,099 women in HIV Prevention Trials Network 064, a study of women at high risk for HIV infection, in ten US communities.
Methods
We analyzed baseline survey responses about partnership dates to determine prevalence of participants’ and partners’ concurrency, intervals between partnerships, knowledge of whether recent partner(s) had undergone HIV testing, and intercourse frequency during the preceding 6 months.
Results
Prevalence of participants’ and partners’ concurrency was 40% and 36% respectively; 24% of respondents had both concurrent partnerships and non-monogamous partners. Among women with >1 partner and no concurrent partnerships themselves, the median gap between partners was one month. Multiple episodes of unprotected vaginal intercourse with >2 of their most recent partners was reported by 60% of women who had both concurrent partnerships and non-monogamous partners, 50% with only concurrent partners and no partners’ concurrency, and 33% with only partners’ concurrency versus 14% of women with neither type of concurrency (p<.0001). Women who had any involvement with concurrency were also more likely than women with no concurrency involvement to report lack of awareness of whether recent partners had undergone HIV testing (participants’ concurrency 41%, partners’ concurrency 40%, both participants’ and partners’ concurrency 48%, neither 17%; p<.0001).
Conclusions
These network patterns and short gaps between partnerships may create substantial opportunities for HIV transmission in this sample of women at high risk for HIV infection.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a9c22a
PMCID: PMC4172374  PMID: 24056163
2.  The HIV Epidemic Among Women in the United States: A Persistent Puzzle 
Journal of Women's Health  2013;22(9):715-717.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2013.4562
PMCID: PMC3768238  PMID: 24007379
3.  HIV Diversity as a Biomarker for HIV Incidence Estimation: Including a High-Resolution Melting Diversity Assay in a Multiassay Algorithm 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(1):115-121.
Multiassay algorithms (MAAs) can be used to estimate cross-sectional HIV incidence. We previously identified a robust MAA that includes the BED capture enzyme immunoassay (BED-CEIA), the Bio-Rad Avidity assay, viral load, and CD4 cell count. In this report, we evaluated MAAs that include a high-resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay that does not require sequencing. HRM scores were determined for eight regions of the HIV genome (2 in gag, 1 in pol, and 5 in env). The MAAs that were evaluated included the BED-CEIA, the Bio-Rad Avidity assay, viral load, and the HRM diversity assay, using HRM scores from different regions and a range of region-specific HRM diversity assay cutoffs. The performance characteristics based on the proportion of samples that were classified as MAA positive by duration of infection were determined for each MAA, including the mean window period. The cross-sectional incidence estimates obtained using optimized MAAs were compared to longitudinal incidence estimates for three cohorts in the United States. The performance of the HRM-based MAA was nearly identical to that of the MAA that included CD4 cell count. The HRM-based MAA had a mean window period of 154 days and provided cross-sectional incidence estimates that were similar to those based on cohort follow-up. HIV diversity is a useful biomarker for estimating HIV incidence. MAAs that include the HRM diversity assay can provide accurate HIV incidence estimates using stored blood plasma or serum samples without a requirement for CD4 cell count data.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02040-13
PMCID: PMC3911463  PMID: 24153134
4.  A Comparison of Two Measures of HIV Diversity in Multi-Assay Algorithms for HIV Incidence Estimation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e101043.
Background
Multi-assay algorithms (MAAs) can be used to estimate HIV incidence in cross-sectional surveys. We compared the performance of two MAAs that use HIV diversity as one of four biomarkers for analysis of HIV incidence.
Methods
Both MAAs included two serologic assays (LAg-Avidity assay and BioRad-Avidity assay), HIV viral load, and an HIV diversity assay. HIV diversity was quantified using either a high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay that does not require HIV sequencing (HRM score for a 239 base pair env region) or sequence ambiguity (the percentage of ambiguous bases in a 1,302 base pair pol region). Samples were classified as MAA positive (likely from individuals with recent HIV infection) if they met the criteria for all of the assays in the MAA. The following performance characteristics were assessed: (1) the proportion of samples classified as MAA positive as a function of duration of infection, (2) the mean window period, (3) the shadow (the time period before sample collection that is being assessed by the MAA), and (4) the accuracy of cross-sectional incidence estimates for three cohort studies.
Results
The proportion of samples classified as MAA positive as a function of duration of infection was nearly identical for the two MAAs. The mean window period was 141 days for the HRM-based MAA and 131 days for the sequence ambiguity-based MAA. The shadows for both MAAs were <1 year. Both MAAs provided cross-sectional HIV incidence estimates that were very similar to longitudinal incidence estimates based on HIV seroconversion.
Conclusions
MAAs that include the LAg-Avidity assay, the BioRad-Avidity assay, HIV viral load, and HIV diversity can provide accurate HIV incidence estimates. Sequence ambiguity measures obtained using a commercially-available HIV genotyping system can be used as an alternative to HRM scores in MAAs for cross-sectional HIV incidence estimation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101043
PMCID: PMC4072769  PMID: 24968135
5.  HIV Acquisition Among Women From Selected Areas of the United States 
Annals of internal medicine  2013;158(1):10-18.
Background
Women account for 23% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in the United States, but there are few recent, well-characterized cohorts of U.S. women in whom behavior characteristics and HIV acquisition have been well-described.
Objective
To evaluate HIV incidence and describe behaviors among U.S. women residing in areas of high HIV prevalence.
Design
Multisite, longitudinal cohort of women who had HIV rapid testing and audio computer-assisted self-interviews at baseline and every 6 months for up to 12 months. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00995176)
Setting
10 urban and periurban communities with high HIV prevalence and poverty rates, located in the northeastern and southeastern United States.
Patients
Venue-based sampling was used to recruit women aged 18 to 44 years who recently had unprotected sex and had 1 or more additional personal or partner risk factors and no self-reported previous HIV diagnosis.
Measurements
HIV prevalence and incidence, frequency of HIV risk behaviors, and health status perceptions.
Results
Among 2099 high-risk women (85.9% black and 11.7% of Hispanic ethnicity), 32 (1.5%) were diagnosed with HIV infection at enrollment. Annual HIV incidence was 0.32% (95% CI, 0.14% to 0.74%). Older age, substance use, and knowing a partner had HIV were associated with HIV prevalence. Ten women died during the study (0.61% per year).
Limitations
Longitudinal assessment of risk behaviors was limited to a maximum of 12 months. There were few incident HIV infections, precluding identification of characteristics predictive of HIV acquisition.
Conclusion
This study enrolled a cohort of women with HIV incidence substantially higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national estimate in the general population of U.S. black women. Concerted efforts to improve preventive health care strategies for HIV and overall health status are needed for similar populations.
doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-1-201301010-00004
PMCID: PMC4033695  PMID: 23277896
6.  Adherence and acceptability in MTN 001: A randomized cross-over trial of daily oral and topical tenofovir for HIV prevention in women 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(2):737-747.
We compared adherence to and acceptability of daily topical and oral formulations of tenofovir (TFV) used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention among women in South Africa, Uganda and the United States. 144 sexually active, HIV-uninfected women participated in a cross-over study of three regimens: oral tablet, vaginal gel, or both. We tested for differences in adherence and evaluated product acceptability. Self-reported adherence for all regimens was high (94%), but serum TFV concentrations indicated only 64% of participants used tablets consistently. Most women in the U.S. (72%) favored tablets over gel; while preferences varied at the African sites (42% preferred gel and 40% tablets). Findings indicate a role for oral and vaginal PrEP formulations and highlight the importance of integrating pharmacokinetics-based adherence assessment in future trials. Biomedical HIV prevention interventions should consider geographic and cultural experience with product formulations, partner involvement, and sexual health benefits that ultimately influence use.
doi:10.1007/s10461-012-0333-8
PMCID: PMC3562423  PMID: 23065145
anti-infective agents; HIV; patient compliance; sexual behavior; vaginal creams, foams and jellies; administration, oral; PrEP; microbicide
7.  Use of a Multifaceted Approach to Analyze HIV Incidence in a Cohort Study of Women in the United States: HIV Prevention Trials Network 064 Study 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;207(2):223-231.
Background. Reliable methods for estimating the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are needed to monitor the epidemic, identify at-risk populations, and evaluate HIV prevention strategies. We used a multifaceted approach to estimate HIV incidence in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 064 study.
Methods. The HPTN 064 study enrolled 2067 HIV-seronegative women and 32 HIV-seropositive women with no prior HIV infection diagnosis. Women were followed for up to 12 months. HIV incidence estimates were based on (1) detection of acute HIV infection, (2) documentation of HIV seroconversion, and (3) detection of recent HIV infection, using a multiassay algorithm (MAA).
Results. Two women had acute HIV infection at enrollment, 4 seroconverted, and 2 were identified as recently infected at enrollment using the MAA. The annual HIV incidence estimate based on acute infection at enrollment (2.52% [95% confidence interval {CI}, .17%–9.33%], using a 14-day window period) was higher than the estimate based on seroconversion (0.24% [95% CI, .07%–.62%]; P = .027). Incidence estimates obtained using the MAA at enrollment and at the end of study were 0.25% (95% CI, .03%–.93%) and 0.13% (95% CI, .006%–.76%), respectively.
Conclusions. We detected a high frequency of acute infection at enrollment. Cross-sectional HIV incidence estimates obtained using the MAA were similar to the longitudinal estimate based on HIV seroconversion.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00995176.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis658
PMCID: PMC3532822  PMID: 23129758
HIV-1; women; United States; incidence
8.  Performance of a Limiting-Antigen Avidity Enzyme Immunoassay for Cross-Sectional Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82772.
Background
A limiting antigen avidity enzyme immunoassay (HIV-1 LAg-Avidity assay) was recently developed for cross-sectional HIV incidence estimation. We evaluated the performance of the LAg-Avidity assay alone and in multi-assay algorithms (MAAs) that included other biomarkers.
Methods and Findings
Performance of testing algorithms was evaluated using 2,282 samples from individuals in the United States collected 1 month to >8 years after HIV seroconversion. The capacity of selected testing algorithms to accurately estimate incidence was evaluated in three longitudinal cohorts. When used in a single-assay format, the LAg-Avidity assay classified some individuals infected >5 years as assay positive and failed to provide reliable incidence estimates in cohorts that included individuals with long-term infections. We evaluated >500,000 testing algorithms, that included the LAg-Avidity assay alone and MAAs with other biomarkers (BED capture immunoassay [BED-CEIA], BioRad-Avidity assay, HIV viral load, CD4 cell count), varying the assays and assay cutoffs. We identified an optimized 2-assay MAA that included the LAg-Avidity and BioRad-Avidity assays, and an optimized 4-assay MAA that included those assays, as well as HIV viral load and CD4 cell count. The two optimized MAAs classified all 845 samples from individuals infected >5 years as MAA negative and estimated incidence within a year of sample collection. These two MAAs produced incidence estimates that were consistent with those from longitudinal follow-up of cohorts. A comparison of the laboratory assay costs of the MAAs was also performed, and we found that the costs associated with the optimal two assay MAA were substantially less than with the four assay MAA.
Conclusions
The LAg-Avidity assay did not perform well in a single-assay format, regardless of the assay cutoff. MAAs that include the LAg-Avidity and BioRad-Avidity assays, with or without viral load and CD4 cell count, provide accurate incidence estimates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082772
PMCID: PMC3873916  PMID: 24386116
9.  Recent Patterns in Population-Based HIV Prevalence in Swaziland 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77101.
Background
The 2011 Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) was conducted as part of a national study to evaluate the scale up of key HIV prevention programs.
Methods
From a randomly selected sample of all Swazi households, all women and men aged 18-49 were considered eligible, and all consenting adults were enrolled and received HIV testing and counseling. In this analysis, population-based measures of HIV prevalence were produced and compared against similarly measured HIV prevalence estimates from the 2006-7 Swaziland Demographic and Health. Also, measures of HIV service utilization in both HIV infected and uninfected populations were documented and discussed.
Results
HIV prevalence among adults aged 18-49 has remained unchanged between 2006-2011 at 31-32%, with substantial differences in current prevalence between women (39%) and men (24%). In both men and women, between since 2006-7 and 2011, prevalence has fallen in the young age groups and risen in the older age groups. Over a third (38%) of the HIV-infected population was unaware of their infection status, and this differed markedly between men (50%) and women (31%). Of those aware of their HIV-positive status, a higher percentage of men (63%) than women (49%) reported ART use.
Conclusions
While overall HIV prevalence remains roughly constant, age-specific changes strongly suggest both improved survival of the HIV-infected and a reduction in new HIV infections. Awareness of HIV status and entry into ART services has improved in recent years but remains too low. This study identifies opportunities to improve both HIV preventive and care services in Swaziland.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077101
PMCID: PMC3797108  PMID: 24143205
10.  Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision: An HIV Prevention Priority for PEPFAR 
As the science demonstrating strong evidence for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention has evolved, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has collaborated with international agencies, donors, and partner country governments supporting VMMC programming. Mathematical models forecast that quickly reaching a large number of uncircumcised men with VMMC in strategically chosen populations may dramatically reduce community-level HIV incidence and save billions of dollars in HIV care and treatment costs. Because VMMC is a 1-time procedure that confers life-long partial protection against HIV, programs for adult men are vital short-term investments with long-term benefits. VMMC also provides a unique opportunity to reach boys and men with HIV testing and counseling services and referrals for other HIV services, including treatment. After formal recommendations by WHO in 2007, priority countries have pursued expansion of VMMC. More than 1 million males have received VMMC thus far, with the most notable successes coming from Kenya’s Nyanza Province. However, a myriad of necessary cultural, political, and ethical considerations have moderated the pace of overall success. Because many millions more uncircumcised men would benefit from VMMC services now, US President Barack Obama committed PEPFAR to provide 4.7 million males with VMMC by 2014. Innovative circumcision methods—such as medical devices that remove the foreskin without injected anesthesia and/or sutures—are being rigorously evaluated. Incorporation of safe innovations into surgical VMMC programs may provide the opportunity to reach more men more quickly with services and dramatically reduce HIV incidence for all.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31825cac4e
PMCID: PMC3663585  PMID: 22797745
male circumcision; HIV prevention; PEPFAR
11.  MTN-001: Randomized Pharmacokinetic Cross-Over Study Comparing Tenofovir Vaginal Gel and Oral Tablets in Vaginal Tissue and Other Compartments 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55013.
Background
Oral and vaginal preparations of tenofovir as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have demonstrated variable efficacy in men and women prompting assessment of variation in drug concentration as an explanation. Knowledge of tenofovir concentration and its active form, tenofovir diphosphate, at the putative vaginal and rectal site of action and its relationship to concentrations at multiple other anatomic locations may provide key information for both interpreting PrEP study outcomes and planning future PrEP drug development.
Objective
MTN-001 was designed to directly compare oral to vaginal steady-state tenofovir pharmacokinetics in blood, vaginal tissue, and vaginal and rectal fluid in a paired cross-over design.
Methods and Findings
We enrolled 144 HIV-uninfected women at 4 US and 3 African clinical research sites in an open label, 3-period crossover study of three different daily tenofovir regimens, each for 6 weeks (oral 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, vaginal 1% tenofovir gel [40 mg], or both). Serum concentrations after vaginal dosing were 56-fold lower than after oral dosing (p<0.001). Vaginal tissue tenofovir diphosphate was quantifiable in ≥90% of women with vaginal dosing and only 19% of women with oral dosing. Vaginal tissue tenofovir diphosphate was ≥130-fold higher with vaginal compared to oral dosing (p<0.001). Rectal fluid tenofovir concentrations in vaginal dosing periods were higher than concentrations measured in the oral only dosing period (p<0.03).
Conclusions
Compared to oral dosing, vaginal dosing achieved much lower serum concentrations and much higher vaginal tissue concentrations. Even allowing for 100-fold concentration differences due to poor adherence or less frequent prescribed dosing, vaginal dosing of tenofovir should provide higher active site concentrations and theoretically greater PrEP efficacy than oral dosing; randomized topical dosing PrEP trials to the contrary indicates that factors beyond tenofovir’s antiviral effect substantially influence PrEP efficacy.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00592124
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055013
PMCID: PMC3559346  PMID: 23383037
12.  Challenges of a Hidden Epidemic: HIV Prevention among Women in the United States 
HIV/AIDS trends in the United States depict a concentrated epidemic with hot spots that vary by location, poverty, race/ethnicity, and transmission mode. HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death among US women of color; two thirds of new infections among women occur in black women, despite the fact that black women account for just 14% of the US female population. The gravity of the HIV epidemic among US women is often not appreciated by those at risk as well as by the broader scientific community. We summarize the current epidemiology of HIV/AIDS among US women and discuss clinical, research, and public health intervention components that must be brought together in a cohesive plan to reduce new HIV infections in US women. Only by accelerating research and programmatic efforts will the hidden epidemic of HIV among US women emerge into the light and come under control.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181fbbdf9
PMCID: PMC3551266  PMID: 21406990
HIV in women; HIV prevention science; racial disparity
13.  Antiretroviral Therapies Associated with Lipoatrophy in HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS patient care and STDs  2007;21(5):297-305.
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.
doi:10.1089/apc.2006.128
PMCID: PMC3133726  PMID: 17518522
14.  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 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Discussion
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.
doi:10.1086/424879
PMCID: PMC3118996  PMID: 15494914
15.  Addressing HIV prevention research priorities in the United States 
More than half a million Americans became newly infected with HIV in the first decade of the new millennium. The domestic epidemic has had the heaviest impact on men who have sex with men (MSM) and people from racial and ethnic minority populations, particularly African-Americans. For example, Black MSM represent <1% of the U.S. population but 25% of the new HIV cases, as per CDC estimates published in 2008. While Black and Hispanic women constitute 24% of all U.S. women, they accounted for 82% of HIV cases in women in 2005, based on data from 33 states with confidential name-based reporting. There is a nearly 23-fold higher rate of AIDS diagnoses for Black women (45.5/100,000 women) and nearly 6-fold higher rate for Hispanic women (11.2/100,000) compared to the rate for white women (2.0/100,000). Investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), an NIH-sponsored collaborative clinical trials group, have crafted a domestic research agenda with community input. Two new domestic studies are in progress (2009) and a community-based clinical trial feasibility effort is in development (2010 start date). These studies focus on outreach, testing, and treatment of infected persons as a backbone for HIV prevention. Reaching persons not receiving health message and service with novel approaches to both prevention and care/treatment is an essential priority for HIV control in the U.S.; our research is designed to guide the best approaches and assess the impact of bridging treatment and prevention.
doi:10.1086/651485
PMCID: PMC2862583  PMID: 20397942
HIV; prevention; United States; homosexual; women; transmission; antiretroviral treatment; black; Hispanic
16.  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.
Abstract
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.
doi:10.1089/apc.2009.0111
PMCID: PMC2823487  PMID: 19877800
17.  Antiretroviral Therapy Exposure and Insulin Resistance in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Background
Evidence suggesting an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected individuals has heightened the need to understand the relation of HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy use, and non–HIV-related factors with insulin resistance (IR).
Methods
Prospective study of 1614 HIV-infected and 604 HIV-uninfected participants from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study between October 2000 and March 2007. Homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)–estimated IR at 11,019 semiannual visits.
Results
HIV-infected women reporting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had higher median HOMA than HIV-uninfected women {1.20 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11 to 1.30] times higher for those reporting protease inhibitor–containing HAART; 1.10 (95% CI: 1.01 to 1.20) times higher for those reporting non–protease inhibitor–containing HAART}. Among HIV-infected, cumulative exposure to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) of >3 years was associated with HOMA 1.13 (95% CI: 1.02 to 1.25) times higher than the HOMA without any cumulative NRTI exposure. Cumulative exposure to the NRTI stavudine of >1 year was associated with HOMA 1.15 (95% CI: 1.05 to 1.27) times higher than the HOMA without any cumulative stavudine use. Family history of diabetes, hepatitis C virus seropositivity, higher body mass index, or reporting menopause was associated with higher HOMA.
Conclusions
Longer cumulative exposure to NRTI; in particular, stavudine is associated with greater IR in HIV-infected women.
PMCID: PMC2889144  PMID: 19186350
antiretroviral therapy; HIV; HOMA; insulin resistance; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; protease inhibitor
18.  Introducing a multi-site program for early diagnosis of HIV infection among HIV-exposed infants in Tanzania 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:44.
Background
In Tanzania, less than a third of HIV infected children estimated to be in need of antiretroviral therapy (ART) are receiving it. In this setting where other infections and malnutrition mimic signs and symptoms of AIDS, early diagnosis of HIV among HIV-exposed infants without specialized virologic testing can be a complex process. We aimed to introduce an Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) pilot program using HIV DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing with the intent of making EID nationally available based on lessons learned in the first 6 months of implementation.
Methods
In September 2006, a molecular biology laboratory at Bugando Medical Center was established in order to perform HIV DNA PCR testing using Dried Blood Spots (DBS). Ninety- six health workers from 4 health facilities were trained in the identification and care of HIV-exposed infants, HIV testing algorithms and collection of DBS samples. Paper-based tracking systems for monitoring the program that fed into a simple electronic database were introduced at the sites and in the laboratory. Time from birth to first HIV DNA PCR testing and to receipt of test results were assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves.
Results
From October 2006 to March 2007, 510 HIV-exposed infants were identified from the 4 health facilities. Of these, 441(87%) infants had an HIV DNA PCR test at a median age of 4 months (IQR 1 to 8 months) and 75(17%) were PCR positive. Parents/guardians for a total of 242(55%) HIV-exposed infants returned to receive PCR test results, including 51/75 (68%) of those PCR positive, 187/361 (52%) of the PCR negative, and 4/5 (80%) of those with indeterminate PCR results. The median time between blood draw for PCR testing and receipt of test results by the parent or guardian was 5 weeks (range <1 week to 14 weeks) among children who tested PCR positive and 10 weeks (range <1 week to 21 weeks) for those that tested PCR negative.
Conclusions
The EID pilot program successfully introduced systems for identification of HIV-exposed infants. There was a high response as hundreds of HIV-exposed infants were registered and tested in a 6 month period. Challenges included the large proportion of parents not returning for PCR test results. Experience from the pilot phase has informed the national roll-out of the EID program currently underway in Tanzania.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-44
PMCID: PMC2907368  PMID: 20565786
19.  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.
doi:10.1089/apc.2009.0111
PMCID: PMC2823487  PMID: 19877800
20.  Vaginal microbicides and the prevention of HIV transmission 
The Lancet infectious diseases  2008;8(11):685-697.
Worldwide, nearly half of all individuals living with HIV are now women, who acquire the virus largely by heterosexual exposure. With an HIV vaccine likely to be years away, topical microbicide formulations applied vaginally or rectally are being investigated as another strategy for HIV prevention. A review of preclinical and clinical research on the development of microbicides formulated to prevent vaginal HIV transmission yielded 118 studies: 73 preclinical and 45 clinical. Preclinical research included in-vitro assays and cervical explant models, as well as animal models. Clinical research included phase I and II/IIb safety studies, and phase III efficacy studies. Whereas most phase I and phase II clinical trials have found microbicide compounds to be safe and well tolerated, phase III trials completed to date have not demonstrated efficacy in preventing HIV transmission. Topical microbicides are grouped into five classes of agents, based on where they disrupt the pathway of sexual transmission of HIV. These classes include surfactants/membrane disruptors, vaginal milieu protectors, viral entry inhibitors, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and a fifth group whose mechanism is unknown. The trajectory of microbicide development has been toward agents that block more specific virus—host cell interactions. Microbicide clinical trials face scientifically and ethically complex issues, such as the choice of placebo gel, the potential for viral resistance, and the inclusion of HIV-infected participants. Assessment of combination agents will most likely advance this field of research.
doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(08)70254-8
PMCID: PMC2627483  PMID: 18992405

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