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1.  Crack cocaine use impairs anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex function in women with HIV infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2014;20(4):352-361.
Objective
Crack cocaine use is associated with impaired verbal memory in HIV-infected women more than -uninfected women. To understand the neural basis for this impairment, this study examined the effects of crack cocaine use on activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and strategic encoding during a verbal memory task in HIV-infected women.
Methods
Three groups of HIV-infected women from the Chicago Consortium of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study were compared: current users of crack cocaine (n=10), former users of cocaine (n=11), and women who had never used cocaine (n=9). Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a verbal memory task and completed a neuropsychological test of verbal memory.
Results
On the neuropsychological test, current crack users performed significantly worse than other groups on semantic clustering, a measure of strategic encoding, p < .05. During encoding, activation in left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was lower in current and former cocaine users compared to never users. During recognition, activation in bilateral PFC, specifically left dorsal medial PFC and bilateral dorsolateral PFC, was lower in current and former users compared to women who had never used cocaine. Lower activation in left dorsolateral PFC was correlated with worse performance on the recognition task, p < .05.
Conclusion
The verbal learning and memory deficits associated with cocaine use in women with HIV may be partially accounted for by alterations in ACC and PFC function.
doi:10.1007/s13365-014-0250-x
PMCID: PMC4090256  PMID: 24760360
HIV; crack cocaine; African American; verbal memory; fMRI; prefrontal cortex
2.  Sexual Minority Status and Violence Among HIV Infected and At-Risk Women 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2014;29(8):1131-1138.
ABSTRACT
IMPORTANCE
Sexual minority women with and at-risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may face increased risks of violence.
OBJECTIVE
To understand the relationship between sexual minority status and violence; and how high-risk sex and substance use mediate that relationship among women with and at-risk for HIV.
DESIGN & PARTICIPANTS
Longitudinal study of 1,235 HIV infected and 508 uninfected women of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) cohort, from New York City, NY, Chicago, IL, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, CA, 1994–2012.
MAIN MEASURES
Primary exposures are sexual identity (heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian/gay) and sexual behavior (male, female, or male & female partners). Primary outcomes are sexual abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV) and physical violence; high-risk sex and substance use were examined as mediators.
KEY RESULTS
Bisexual women were at increased odds for sexual abuse [aOR 1.56 (1.00, 2.44)], IPV [aOR 1.50 (1.08, 2.09)], and physical violence [aOR 1.77 (1.33, 2.37)] compared to heterosexual women. In a separate analysis, women who reported sex with men and women (WSMW) had increased odds for sexual abuse [aOR 1.65 (0.99, 2.77], IPV [aOR 1.50 (1.09, 2.06)] and physical violence [aOR 2.24 (1.69, 2.98)] compared to women having sex only with men (WSM). Using indirect effects, multiple sex partners, cocaine and marijuana were significant mediators for most forms of abuse. Transactional sex was only a mediator for bisexual women. Women who reported sex only with women (WSW) had lower odds of sexual abuse [aOR 0.23 (0.06, 0.89)] and physical violence [aOR 0.42 (0.21, 0.85)] compared to WSM.
CONCLUSIONS
Women who identify as bisexual or report both male and female sex partners are most vulnerable to violence; multiple recent sex partners, transactional sex and some types of substance use mediate this relationship. Acknowledging sexual identity and behavior, while addressing substance use and high-risk sex in clinical and psychosocial settings, may help reduce violence exposure among women with and at-risk for HIV.
doi:10.1007/s11606-014-2832-y
PMCID: PMC4099466  PMID: 24700180
gay and lesbian health; IPV; sexual assault; HIV/AIDS; women’s health
3.  Antiretroviral Therapy Modifies the Genetic Effect of Known Type 2 Diabetes-Associated Risk Variants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(12):1815-1823.
Objective
Type 2 diabetes (DM) incidence is increased in HIV-infected persons. We examined the associations of DM with known DM-risk alleles from the general population in the context of HIV infection and explored effect modification by combination antiretroviral treatment (cART).
Methods
The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is a prospective cohort of HIV-infected women. Seventeen European-derived DM-risk polymorphisms were genotyped in eligible WIHS participants. Analyses were run separately for non-African-Americans (Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and other; n=378, 49 with incident DM) and African-Americans (n=591, 49 with incident DM). Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for DM overall and within strata of cART.
Results
In non-African-Americans, heterogeneity across cART regimen was observed for 9 of 14 polymorphisms (phet<0.05). One polymorphism was statistically significantly inversely associated with DM risk among women taking 2 NRTIs+NNRTI. Five polymorphisms were statistically significantly associated with DM among women treated with ≥2 NRTIs + ≥1 PI and one polymorphism was associated with DM among those treated with ≥3 NRTIs ± NNRTI. The HR per risk allele for IGF2BP2 rs1470579 was 2.67 (95% CI 1.67–4.31) for women taking cART with ≥2 NRTIs+≥1 PI and 2.45 (95% CI 1.08–5.53) in women taking ≥3 NRTIs±NNRTI (phet=2.50×10−3). No such associations were observed in African-Americans.
Conclusions
Genetic susceptibility to DM, based on the variants studied, is substantially elevated among HIV-infected women using cART containing three or more NRTI/PI components. A personalized medicine approach to cART selection may be indicated for HIV-infected persons carrying these DM-risk variants.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000366
PMCID: PMC4269472  PMID: 24932614
type 2 diabetes; genetics; HIV; women; antiretroviral therapy
4.  Smoking Cessation and Recidivism in the Women's Interagency Human Immunodeficiency Virus Study 
Background
Smoking increases the risk of morbidity and mortality and is particularly harmful to HIV-infected people.
Purpose
To explore smoking trends and longitudinal factors associated with smoking cessation and recidivism among participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study.
Methods
From 1994 through 2011, 2,961 HIV-infected and 981 HIV-uninfected women were enrolled and underwent semi-annual interviews and specimen collection. Smoking prevalence was evaluated annually and risk factors associated with time to smoking cessation and recidivism were analyzed in 2013 using survival models.
Results
The annual cigarette smoking prevalence declined from 57% in 1995 to 39% in 2011 (p-trend<0.0001). Among smokers, factors significantly associated with a longer time to smoking cessation included less education, alcohol use, having health insurance, >10-year smoking duration, self-reported poor health rating, and having hypertension. Pregnancy in the past 6 months was associated with a shorter time to cessation. Among HIV-infected women, additional risk factors for longer time to cessation included lower household income, use of crack/cocaine/heroin, CD4 cell count ≤200, and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use. Predictors of smoking recidivism included marijuana use, enrollment in 1994–1996, and not living in one's own place. Among HIV-infected women, enrollment in 2001-2002 and crack/cocaine/heroin use were associated with a shorter time to recidivism, whereas older age and HAART use were associated with a longer time to recidivism.
Conclusions
Despite declining rates of cigarette smoking, integrated interventions are needed to help women with and at risk for HIV infection to quit smoking and sustain cessation.
doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2014.02.010
PMCID: PMC4065848  PMID: 24746376
5.  Effect of HIV Infection on Body Composition and Fat Distribution in Rwandan Women 
Objective
To assess the association of HIV infection with body weight and composition in Rwandan women.
Design
Body weight and composition, the latter determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and by anthropometry, were compared in 620 HIV-positive and 211 HIV-negative participants. Associations of HIV with body composition were assessed, and t tests compared the groups.
Results
HIV-positive women were younger (−7.0 years, P < .001) and shorter (− 2.1 cm, P < .001). Mean body weight, body mass index (BMI), total body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were similar. Mean fat-free mass was 2.5% greater in HIV-negative participants, and 19% of HIV-positive group had BMI <18.5 kg/m2 versus 26% of the HIV-negative group (P < .05). CD4 counts and body composition were not associated.
Conclusions
Malnutrition was common in this cohort of Rwandan women. However, HIV infection was not associated with nutritional status. Factors other than malnutrition may influence quality-of-life outcomes in HIV-infected Rwandan women. Initiatives to improve nutritional status should be population-wide and not restricted to the HIV-infected population.
doi:10.1177/1545109710366472
PMCID: PMC4460979  PMID: 20530472
HIV; malnutrition; body composition; Rwanda; women; fat distribution
6.  Urinary Biomarkers of Kidney Injury Are Associated with All-Cause Mortality in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
HIV medicine  2013;15(5):291-300.
Objectives
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in HIV; CKD is associated with mortality. Urinary markers of tubular injury have been associated with future kidney disease risk, but associations with mortality are unknown.
Methods
We evaluated the association of urinary interleukin-18(IL-18), liver fatty acid binding protein(L-FABP), kidney injury molecule-1(KIM-1), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin(NGAL), albumin-to-creatinine ratio(ACR) with 10-year, all-cause death in 908 HIV-infected women. Kidney function was estimated using cystatin C (eGFRcys).
Results
There were 201 deaths during 9,269 person-years of follow-up. After demographic adjustment, compared to the lowest tertile, highest tertiles of IL-18 (HR 2.54,95%CI 1.75–3.68), KIM-1 (2.04,1.44–2.89), NGAL(1.50,1.05–2.14), and ACR(1.63,1.13–2.36) were associated with higher mortality. After multivariable adjustment including eGFRcys, only the highest tertiles of IL-18, (1.88,1.29–2.74) and ACR (1.46,1.01–2.12) remained independently associated with mortality. Findings with KIM-1 were borderline (1.41, 0.99–2.02). We found a J-shaped association between L-FABP and mortality. Compared to persons in the lowest tertile, HR for middle tertile of L-FABP was 0.67 (0.46–0.98) after adjustment. Findings were stronger when IL-18, ACR and L-FABP were simultaneously included in models.
Conclusions
Among HIV-infected women, some urinary markers of tubular injury are associated with mortality risk, independently of eGFRcys and ACR. These markers represent potential tools to identify early kidney injury in persons with HIV.
doi:10.1111/hiv.12113
PMCID: PMC3975680  PMID: 24313986
HIV; IL-18; KIM-1; L-FABP; NGAL; urinary biomarkers
7.  Psychosocial Correlates of Gender-Based Violence Among HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women in Three US Cities 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2014;28(5):260-267.
Abstract
Gender-based violence (GBV) is common among women with and at risk for HIV, yet little is known about the GBV associated psychological factors that could be modifiable through behavioral interventions. The current study examined the associations between some of these psychological factors (i.e., hopelessness, consideration of future consequences, self esteem), mental health symptoms, substance abuse, and GBV among a sample of 736 HIV-infected and sociodemographically similar uninfected participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Results indicated high rates of lifetime GBV among the sample (58%), as well as high rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) (22.2%). HIV-infected women were more likely to be hopeless and to experience lower consideration of future consequences as compared to uninfected women. Multivariable analysis indicated that current non-injection drug use and a history of injection drug use were the main correlates of GBV and CSA, even when other psychosocial variables were included in analytic models. Being born outside of the US reduced the likelihood of GBV and CSA. Future research directions and intervention implications are discussed.
doi:10.1089/apc.2013.0342
PMCID: PMC4011431  PMID: 24724987
8.  Macrophage inflammatory markers are associated with subclinical carotid artery disease in women with HIV or HCV infection 
Objective
Infection with hepatitis C (HCV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be associated with atherosclerosis and vascular disease. Macrophages are a major component of atherosclerotic plaque, and classically activated (M1) macrophages contribute to plaque instability. Our goal was to identify plasma biomarkers that reflect macrophage inflammation and are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis.
Approach and results
We tested whether M1 macrophages produce galectin-3 binding protein (Gal-3BP) in-vitro. Then we measured Gal-3BP and the soluble macrophage biomarkers sCD163 and sCD14 in 264 participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Women were positive for HIV, HCV, both, or neither (66 in each group, matched for age, race/ethnicity and smoking status). Carotid artery disease was assessed by ultrasound measurement of right distal common carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT), distensibility, and presence of atherosclerotic lesions (IMT>1.5 mm). Plasma Gal-3BP was higher in HCV+ than HCV− women (p<0.01), but did not differ by HIV status. The three inflammatory macrophage markers were significantly correlated with each other and negatively correlated with CD4+ counts in HIV-infected women. We defined a macrophage score as 1, 2 or 3 biomarkers elevated above the median. In models adjusted for traditional risk factors, higher macrophage scores were significantly associated with increased atherosclerotic lesions and lower carotid distensibility. Receiver-operator curve analysis of lesions revealed that the markers added predictive value beyond traditional risk factors and C-reactive protein.
Conclusions
The macrophage inflammatory markers Gal-3BP, sCD163 and sCD14 are significantly associated with carotid artery disease in the setting of HIV and HCV infection.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.303153
PMCID: PMC4067091  PMID: 24651679
atherosclerosis; women; AIDS; immune system; risk factors
9.  Insulin Resistance Change and Antiretroviral Therapy Exposure in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Rwandan Women: A Longitudinal Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123936.
Background
We longitudinally assessed predictors of insulin resistance (IR) change among HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected (ART-initiators and ART-non-initiators) Rwandan women.
Methodology
HIV-infected (HIV+) and uninfected (HIV-) women provided demographic and clinical measures: age, body mass index (BMI) in Kg/(height in meters)2, Fat-Mass (FMI) and Fat-Free-Mass (FFMI) index, fasting serum glucose and insulin. Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) was calculated to estimate IR change over time in log10 transformed HOMA measured at study enrollment or prior to ART initiation in 3 groups: HIV- (n = 194), HIV+ ART-non-initiators (n=95) and HIV+ ART-initiators (n=371). ANCOVA linear regression models of change in log10-HOMA were fit with all models included the first log10 HOMA as a predictor.
Results
Mean±SD log10-HOMA was -0.18±0.39 at the 1st and -0.21±0.41 at the 2nd measure, with mean change of 0.03±0.44. In the final model (all women) BMI at 1st HOMA measure (0.014; 95% CI=0.006-0.021 per kg/m2; p<0.001) and change in BMI from 1st to 2nd measure (0.024; 95% CI=0.013-0.035 per kg/m2; p<0.001) predicted HOMA change. When restricted to subjects with FMI measures, FMI at 1st HOMA measure (0.020; 95% CI=0.010-0.030 per kg/m2; p<0.001) and change in FMI from 1st to 2nd measure (0.032; 95% CI=0.020-0.043 per kg/m2; p<0.0001) predicted change in HOMA. While ART use did not predict change in log10-HOMA, untreated HIV+ women had a significant decline in IR over time. Use or duration of AZT, d4T and EFV was not associated with HOMA change in HIV+ women.
Conclusions
Baseline BMI and change in BMI, and in particular fat mass and change in fat mass predicted insulin resistance change over ~3 years in HIV-infected and uninfected Rwandan women. Exposure to specific ART (d4T, AZT, EFV) did not predict insulin resistance change in ART-treated HIV-infected Rwandan women.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123936
PMCID: PMC4400132  PMID: 25880634
10.  INCREASE IN SINGLE-TABLET REGIMEN USE AND ASSOCIATED IMPROVEMENTS IN ADHERENCE-RELATED OUTCOMES IN HIV-INFECTED WOMEN 
Introduction
The use of single-tablet ART regimens and its implications on adherence among HIV-infected women have not been well-described.
Methods
Participants were enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a longitudinal study of HIV infection in U.S. women. We examined semiannual trends in single-tablet regimen use and ART adherence, defined as self-reported 95% adherence in the past 6 months, during 2006–2013. In a nested cohort study, we assessed the comparative effectiveness of a single-tablet versus a multiple-tablet regimen with respect to adherence, virologic suppression, quality of life, and AIDS-defining events, using propensity score matching to account for demographic, behavioral, and clinical confounders. We also examined these outcomes in a subset of women switching from a multiple- to single-tablet regimen, using a case-crossover design.
Results
15,523 person-visits, representing 1,727 women (53% black, 29% Hispanic, 25% IDU, median age 47), were included. Use of single-tablet regimens among ART users increased from 7% in 2006 to 27% in 2013; adherence increased from 78% to 85% during the same period (both p<0.001). Single-tablet regimen use was significantly associated with increased adherence (adjusted RR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03–1.08) and virologic suppression (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01–1.11), while associations with improved quality of life and fewer AIDS-defining events did not achieve statistical significance. Similar findings were observed among the subset of switchers.
Conclusion
Single-tablet regimen use was associated with increased adherence and virologic suppression. Despite this, 15% of women prescribed ART were still not optimally adherent; additional interventions are needed to maximize therapeutic benefits.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000082
PMCID: PMC3999284  PMID: 24326606
adherence; antiretroviral therapy; HIV; time factors; United States; viral load; women
11.  RYR3 gene variants in subclinical atherosclerosis among HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Atherosclerosis  2014;233(2):666-672.
Background
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Ryanodine receptor 3 (RYR3) gene are associated with common carotid intima media thickness (CCA cIMT) in HIV-infected men. We evaluated SNPs in the RYR3 gene among HIV-infected women participating in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Methods
CCA cIMT was measured using B-mode ultrasound and the 838 SNPs in the RYR3 gene region were genotyped using the Illumina HumanOmni2.5-quad beadchip. The CCA cIMT genetic association was assessed using linear regression analyses among 1213 women and also separately among White (n=139), Black (n=720) and Hispanic (n=354) women after adjusting for confounders. A summary measure of pooled association was estimated using a meta-analytic approach by combining the effect estimates from the three races. Haploblocks were inferred using Gabriel’s method and haplotype association analyses were conducted among the three races separately.
Results
SNP rs62012610 was associated with CCA cIMT among the Hispanics (p=4.41× 10−5), rs11856930 among Whites (p=5.62× 10−4), and rs2572204 among Blacks (p=2.45× 10−3). Meta-analysis revealed several associations of SNPs in the same direction and of similar magnitude, particularly among Blacks and Hispanics. Additionally, several haplotypes within three haploblocks containing SNPs previously related with CCA cIMT were also associated in Whites and Hispanics.
Discussion
Consistent with previous research among HIV-infected men, SNPs within the RYR3 region were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis among HIV-infected women. Allelic heterogeneity observed across the three races suggests that the contribution of the RYR3 gene to CCA cIMT is complex, and warrants future studies to better understand regional SNP function.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.01.035
PMCID: PMC3965606  PMID: 24561552
RYR3; single nucleotide polymorphisms; HIV infection; CCA; cIMT; subclinical atherosclerosis
12.  Abuse and Resilience in Relation to HAART Medication Adherence and HIV Viral Load Among Women with HIV in the United States 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2014;28(3):136-143.
Abstract
Abuse is highly prevalent among HIV+ women, leading to behaviors, including lower adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) that result in poor health outcomes. Resilience (functioning competently despite adversity) may buffer the negative effects of abuse. This study investigated how resilience interacted with abuse history in relation to HAART adherence, HIV viral load (VL), and CD4+ cell count among a convenience sample of 138 HIV+ women from the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center/Cook County Health and Hospital Systems site of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Resilience was measured by the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). HAART adherence (≥95% vs. <95% self reported usage of prescribed medication) and current or prior sexual, physical, or emotional/domestic abuse, were reported during structured interviews. HIV viral load (≥20 vs. <20 copies/mL) and CD4+ count (200 vs. <200 cells/mm) were measured with blood specimens. Multiple logistic regressions, controlling for age, race, income, enrollment wave, substance use, and depressive symptoms, indicated that each unit increase in resilience was significantly associated with an increase in the odds of having ≥95% HAART adherence and a decrease in the odds of having a detectable viral load. Resilience-Abuse interactions showed that only among HIV+ women with sexual abuse or multiple abuses did resilience significantly relate to an increase in the odds of ≥95% HAART adherence. Interventions to improve coping strategies that promote resilience among HIV+ women may be beneficial for achieving higher HAART adherence and viral suppression.
doi:10.1089/apc.2013.0329
PMCID: PMC3948478  PMID: 24568654
13.  Resilience among women with HIV: Impact of silencing the self and socioeconomic factors 
Sex roles  2014;70(5-6):221-231.
In the U.S., women account for over a quarter of the approximately 50,000 annual new HIV diagnoses and face intersecting and ubiquitous adversities including gender inequities, sexism, poverty, violence, and limited access to quality education and employment. Women are also subjected to prescribed gender roles such as silencing their needs in interpersonal relationships, which may lessen their ability to be resilient and function adaptively following adversity. Previous studies have often highlighted the struggles encountered by women with HIV without focusing on their strengths. The present cross-sectional study investigated the relationships of silencing the self and socioeconomic factors (education, employment, and income) with resilience in a sample of women with HIV. The sample consisted of 85 women with HIV, diverse ethnic/racial groups, aged 24 – 65 enrolled at the Chicago site of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study in the midwestern region of the United States. Measures included the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale -10 item and the Silencing the Self Scale (STSS). Participants showed high levels of resilience. Women with lower scores on the STSS (lower self-silencing) reported significantly higher resilience compared to women with higher STSS scores. Although employment significantly related to higher resilience, silencing the self tended to predict resilience over and above the contributions of employment, income, and education. Results suggest that intervention and prevention efforts aimed at decreasing silencing the self and increasing employment opportunities may improve resilience.
doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0348-x
PMCID: PMC4051411  PMID: 24932061
resilience; silencing the self; HIV; women; socioeconomic factors
14.  The Vaginal Microbiota over an 8- to 10-Year Period in a Cohort of HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116894.
Background
We identified predominant vaginal microbiota communities, changes over time, and how this varied by HIV status and other factors in a cohort of 64 women.
Methods
Bacterial DNA was extracted from reposited cervicovaginal lavage samples collected annually over an 8–10 year period from Chicago Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants: 22 HIV-negative, 22 HIV-positive with stable infection, 20 HIV-positive with progressive infection. The vaginal microbiota was defined by pyrosequencing of the V1/V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Scheduled visits included Bacterial vaginsosis (BV) screening; clinically detected cases were referred for treatment. Hierarchical clustering identified bacterial community state types (CST). Multinomial mixed effects modeling determined trends over time in CST, by HIV status and other factors.
Results
The median follow-up time was 8.1 years (range 5.5–15.3). Six CSTs were identified. The mean relative abundance (RA) of Lactobacillus spp. by CST (with median number of bacterial taxa) was: CST-1–25.7% (10), CST-2–27.1% (11), CST-3–34.6% (9), CST-4–46.8% (9), CST-5–57.9% (4), CST-6–69.4% (2). The two CSTs representing the highest RA of Lactobacillus and lowest diversity increased with each additional year of follow-up (CST-5, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.62 [95% CI: 1.34–1.94]; CST-6, aOR = 1.57 [95 CI: 1.31–1.89]), while the two CSTs representing lowest RA of Lactobacillus and higher diversity decreased with each additional year (CST-1, aOR = 0.89 [95% CI: 0.80–1.00]; CST-2, aOR = 0.86 [95% CI: 0.75–0.99]). There was no association between HIV status and CST at baseline or over time. CSTs representing lower RA of Lactobacillus were associated with current cigarette smoking.
Conclusions
The vaginal microbial community significantly improved over time in this cohort of women with HIV and at high risk for HIV who had regular detection and treatment referral for BV.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116894
PMCID: PMC4326357  PMID: 25675346
15.  Echolucency of the Carotid Artery Intima‐Media Complex and Intima‐Media Thickness Have Different Cardiovascular Risk Factor Relationships: The Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Background
Adults infected with HIV have increased atherosclerosis potentially associated with both HIV and non‐HIV associated factors. We characterized risk factors for atherosclerosis as measured by noninvasive vascular imaging.
Methods and Results
We used B‐mode ultrasound to examine levels and correlates of echogenicity and vessel wall thickness of the carotid artery intima‐media complex in 1282 HIV‐infected and 510 HIV‐uninfected women of the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Levels of gray scale median (GSM, a measure of echogenicity) did not vary between HIV infection groups. In both groups, smokers had increased GSM, whereas age, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and high BMI were associated with lower (rather than higher) GSM. Each of these non‐lipid CVD risk factors, especially age and blood pressure, was also associated with higher levels of carotid artery intima‐media thickness (cIMT). Higher serum triglyceride levels were associated with lower GSM in both HIV‐infected and HIV‐uninfected groups. Additional lipid risk factors for low GSM including high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol levels were identified in HIV uninfected but not in HIV infected women. In contrast to findings for GSM, among the lipid parameters only LDL cholesterol level had an association with cIMT, which was observed only in the HIV uninfected group.
Conclusions
Lipid and non‐lipid risk factor associations with echolucency of the carotid artery and the thickness of the common carotid artery intima‐media layer suggest that these measures capture different aspects of atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.114.001405
PMCID: PMC4345869  PMID: 25699995
carotid arteries; epidemiology; immune system; risk factors; ultrasonics
16.  Cleavage/Alteration of Interleukin-8 by Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in the Female Lower Genital Tract 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116911.
Objective
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116911
PMCID: PMC4303271  PMID: 25611319
17.  Common Clinical Conditions – Age, Low BMI, Ritonavir Use, Mild Renal Impairment - Affect Tenofovir Pharmacokinetics in a Large Cohort of HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(1):59-66.
Objective
Tenofovir is used commonly in HIV treatment and prevention settings, but factors that correlate with tenofovir exposure in real-world setting are unknown.
Design
Intensive pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of tenofovir in a large, diverse cohort of HIV-infected women over 24-hours at steady-state were performed and factors that influenced exposure (assessed by areas-under-the-time-concentration curves, AUCs) identified
Methods
HIV-infected women (n=101) on tenofovir-based therapy underwent intensive 24-hour PK sampling. Data on race/ethnicity, age, exogenous steroid use, menstrual cycle phase, concomitant medications, recreational drugs and/or tobacco, hepatic and renal function, weight and body mass index (BMI) were collected. Multivariable models using forward stepwise selection identified factors associated with effects on AUC. Glomerular filtration rates (GFR) prior to starting tenofovir were estimated by the CKD-EPI equation using both creatinine and cystatin-C measures
Results
The median (range) of tenofovir AUCs was 3350 (1031–13,911) ng x h/mL. Higher AUCs were associated with concomitant ritonavir use (1.33-fold increase, p 0.002), increasing age (1.21-fold increase per decade, p=0.0007) and decreasing BMI (1.04-fold increase per 10% decrease in BMI). When GFR was calculated using cystatin-C measures, mild renal insufficiency prior to tenofovir initiation was associated with higher subsequent exposure (1.35-fold increase when pre-tenofovir GFR <70mL/min, p=0.0075).
Conclusions
Concomitant ritonavir use, increasing age, decreasing BMI and lower GFR prior to tenofovir initiation as estimated by cystatin C were all associated with elevated tenofovir exposure in a diverse cohort of HIV-infected women. Clinicians treating HIV-infected women should be aware of common clinical conditions that affect tenofovir exposure when prescribing this medication.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000000033
PMCID: PMC3956315  PMID: 24275255
Tenofovir; pharmacokinetics; HIV-infected women; diverse populations; GFR; cystatin C
18.  Comparison of Antibodies That Mediate HIV Type 1 gp120 Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity in Asymptomatic HIV Type 1-Positive Men and Women 
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that HIV-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) antibodies contribute to protective immunity against HIV. An important characteristic of future HIV vaccines will, therefore, be the ability to stimulate production of these antibodies in both men and women. Early studies suggest that men may have a better ADCC antibody response against HIV than women. Our objective was to determine whether men and women differ with respect to their ADCC response to HIV-1 gp120. HIV-positive, asymptomatic untreated men and women were matched for race, age, CD4+ T cell number, HIV-1 viral load, and treatment and HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers were compared. A standard 51Cr-release assay was used to determine HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers in HIV-1-seropositive individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; n=32) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; n=32). Both sexes had high ADCC titers against HIV-1 gp120: 34.4% (n=11) and 40.6% (n=13) of men and women, respectively, had titers of 10,000; 62.5% (n=20) and 56.3% (n=18) had titers of 100,000. Groups did not differ in percent specific release (% SR), lytic units (LU), correlations of titer to viral load, or titer to CD4+ T cells in men or women. Both groups also had similar cross-clade ADCC antibody responses (p>0.5 for % SR and LU). Comparable groups of asymptomatic HIV-1-infected men and women had comparable HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibodies. Both sexes had significant cross-clade reactivity. Differences between men and women may become evident as disease progresses; this should be evaluated at later stages of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0377
PMCID: PMC3887406  PMID: 23972002
19.  Anthropometric measures and cognition in middle-aged HIV-infected and uninfected women. The Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(6):574-585.
Objective
To explore the relationship of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with cognition in women with (HIV+) and without HIV (HIV-) infection.
Design/Methods
1690 participants (1196 HIV+, 494 HIV-) in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) with data available on anthropometric measures comprise the analytical sample. Cross-sectional analyses using linear regression models estimated the relationship between anthropometric variables and Trails A, Trails B, Stroop interference time, Stroop word recall, Stroop color naming and reading, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) with consideration for age, HIV infection status, Wide Range Achievement Test score, CD4 count, insulin resistance, drug use, and race/ethnicity.
Results
Among HIV+ women, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2 was associated with poorer cognitive performance evidenced by longer Trails A and Trails B and shorter SDMT completion times. An obese BMI (30 kg/m2 or higher) was related to better performance on Trails B and worse performance on the Stroop Interference test. Among HIV- women, an obese BMI was related to worse performance on the Stroop – Color naming test. Few and inconsistent associations were observed between WC, WHR and cognition.
Conclusion
Among women at mid-life with chronic (at least 10 years) HIV infection, common anthropometric measures, primarily BMI, were differentially related to cognitive test performance by cognitive domain. Higher levels of BMI were associated with better cognitive function. In this era of antiretroviral therapies, restoration of health evidenced as higher BMI due to effective antiretroviral therapies, may improve cognitive function in middle-aged HIV infected women.
doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0219-1
PMCID: PMC3957488  PMID: 24338243
Cognition; HIV; Women; Overweight; Obesity; Middle-Aged
20.  Prevalence and risk factors for High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection among HIV-infected and Uninfected Rwandan women: implications for hrHPV-based screening in Rwanda 
Background
New World Health Organization guidelines recommend high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) screen-and-treat strategies for cervical cancer prevention. We describe risk of, and risk factors for, testing hrHPV positive in a pilot study of hrHPV screen-and-treat conducted in Rwanda.
Methods
A total of 2,964 women, 1,289 HIV-infected (HIV [+]) and 1,675 HIV-uninfected (HIV [-]), aged 30-60 years and living in Rwanda were enrolled in 2010. Cervical specimens were collected and tested by careHPV, a DNA test for a pool of 14 hrHPV types. Prevalence with binomial 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and determinants of testing hrHPV positive were calculated.
Results
hrHPV prevalence was higher in HIV [+] (31.8%, 95% CI = 29.2-34.4%) than HIV [-] women (8.2%, 95% CI = 6.7-9.8%; P < 0.0001). Among HIV [+] women, there was a significant trend (ptrend <0.001) of higher hrHPV prevalence with lower CD4 cell count, with the highest hrHPV prevalence among those with <200 CD4 cell counts (45.5%, 95% CI = 34.8-56.4%). In multivariate analysis of HIV [+] women, testing hrHPV positive was positively associated CD4 count of <200 cells/μL, history of 3 or more sexual partners, and history of using hormonal contraception, and negatively associated with older age. In HIV [-] women, testing hrHPV positive was negatively associated only with older age groups of 45-49 and 50-60 years and surprisingly was not associated with lifetime number of sexual partners.
Conclusion
hrHPV prevalence is high in HIV [+], especially in women with the lowest CD4 cell counts, which may have implications for utilizing hrHPV-based screening strategies such as screen-and-treat in these high-risk subgroups.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-9-40
PMCID: PMC4413542  PMID: 25926864
HPV; HIV; Cervical cancer; Screening
21.  Gender Roles and Mental Health in Women With and at Risk for HIV 
Psychology of women quarterly  2014;38(3):311-326.
Predominantly low-income and African American women from the same community, HIV-infected (n = 100; HIV+) and uninfected (n = 42; HIV−), were assessed on reported gender roles in sexual and other close relationships—including levels of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and sexual relationship power—at a single recent study visit during 2008–2012. Recent gender roles were investigated in relation to depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life assessed both at a single visit during 2008–2012 and averaged over semiannual visits (for depressive symptoms) and annual visits (for quality of life) occurring between 1994 and 2012. Compared to HIV− women, HIV+ women reported significantly higher levels of several aspects of self-silencing, unmitigated communion, and multi-year averaged depressive symptoms as well as lower levels of sexual relationship power and recent and multi-year averaged quality of life. For both HIV+ and HIV− women, higher self-silencing and unmitigated communion significantly related to recent or multi-year averaged higher depressive symptoms and lower quality of life. Intervention strategies designed to increase self-care and self-advocacy in the context of relationships could potentially minimize depressive symptoms and enhance quality of life in women with and at risk for HIV.
doi:10.1177/0361684314525579
PMCID: PMC4258411  PMID: 25492991
sex roles; HIV; depression; quality of life; silencing the self; communion; health; empowerment
22.  The Association of Self-perception of Body Fat Changes and Quality of Life in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS care  2013;25(12):10.1080/09540121.2013.793265.
Body fat changes are of concern to HIV-seropositive adults on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Studies examining the association of body fat changes and quality of life (QOL) in the setting of HIV infection have been conducted predominately in men. We examined the relationship of self-perceived body fat change with QOL among 1,671 HAART-using HIV-seropositive women (mean age 40 ± 8 years; 54% African American, 24% reporting ≤ 95% HAART adherence) from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Self-perception of any fat loss was associated with lower overall QOL. Report of any peripheral fat loss was strongly associated with nearly all QOL domains (i.e., physical functioning, role functioning, energy/fatigue, social functioning, pain, emotional well-being, health perception, and perceived health index) except cognitive functioning, whereas report of any central fat loss was significantly associated with lower social and cognitive functioning. Report of any central fat gain was associated with lower overall QOL, but only physical functioning, energy/fatigue, and cognitive functioning were significantly affected. A significant association of report of any peripheral fat gain with overall QOL was not observed, however peripheral fat gain was significantly associated with lower physical functioning and pain. We found that any report of fat loss, especially in peripheral body sites is associated with lower QOL, as was any report of central fat gain. Ultimately health providers and patients need to be informed of these associations so as to better support HIV-seropositive women who live with these effects.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2013.793265
PMCID: PMC3769511  PMID: 23656440
body image perception; lipoatrophy; lipohypertrophy; Quality of life; HIV-seropositive women; HAART
23.  Understanding the disparity: Predictors of virologic failure in women using highly active antiretroviral therapy vary by race and/or ethnicity 
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)  2013;64(3):10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a095e9.
Background
Stark racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes exist among those living with HIV in the United States. One of three primary goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is to reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities.
Methods
Using data from HIV-infected women participating in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study from April 2006 to March 2011, we measured virologic failure (HIV RNA >200 copies/mL) following suppression (HIV RNA <80 copies/mL) on HAART. We identified predictors of virologic failure using discrete-time survival analysis and calculated racial/ethnic-specific population attributable fractions (PAFs).
Results
Of 887 eligible women, 408 (46%) experienced virologic failure during the study period. Hispanic and White women had significantly lower hazards of virologic failure than African-American women (Hispanic hazard ratio, HR=0.8, 95% confidence interval [0.6, 0.9]; White HR=0.7 [0.5, 0.9]). The population attributable fraction of virologic failure associated with low income was higher in Hispanic (aHR=2.2 [0.7, 6.5], PAF=49%) and African-American women (aHR=1.8 [1.1, 3.2], PAF=38%) than among White women (aHR=1.4 [0.6, 3.4], PAF=16%). Lack of health insurance compared to public health insurance was associated with virologic failure only among Hispanic (aHR=2.0 [0.9, 4.6], PAF=22%) and White women (aHR=1.9 [0.7, 5.1], PAF=13%). By contrast, depressive symptoms were associated with virologic failure only among African-American women (aHR=1.6 [1.2, 2.2], PAF=17%).
Conclusions
In this population of treated HIV-infected women, virologic failure was common, and correlates of virologic failure varied by race/ethnicity. Strategies to reduce disparities in HIV treatment outcomes by race/ethnicity should address racial/ethnic-specific barriers including depression and low income to sustain virologic suppression.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a095e9
PMCID: PMC3816935  PMID: 23797695
disparities; race/ethnicity; virologic failure; HAART; HIV; women
24.  Serum biomarkers of immune activation and subsequent risk of non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma among HIV-infected women 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
These findings support the hypothesis that chronic B cell activation contributes to the development of AIDS-NHL in women.
Impact
sCD23, sCD27, sCD30, and CXCL13 may serve as biomarkers for AIDS-NHL.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0614
PMCID: PMC3833437  PMID: 24045923
lymphoma; B cell; cytokines; AIDS; immune activation
25.  Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in TrkB and Risk for Depression: Findings from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) are more likely than non-infected individuals to develop depression. HIV lowers brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophic factor whose receptors play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of depression. Therefore, we examined whether a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the BDNF gene (rs56164415) and related receptors TrkB (rs1212171) and p75NTR (rs2072446) were associated with depression in HIV infected individuals. 1365 HIV positive and 371 HIV negative female subjects were included. The distribution of alleles was analyzed independently in African-Americans (non-Hispanic) and Caucasians (non-Hispanic). We have found that the absence of depressive symptoms in HIV positive subjects is associated with a genetic variation of the TrkB but not BDNF or p75NTR genes. This mutation explains 0.8% and 4.4% of the variability for the absence of depression in African-Americans and Caucasians, respectively.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a468e9
PMCID: PMC3780967  PMID: 24047966
association studies; BDNF; HIV-1; p75NTR; rs1212171; rs2072446

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