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1.  Microvascular Endothelial Dysfunction and Enhanced Thromboxane and Endothelial Contractility in Patients with HIV 
1.1. Background
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is increased with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but the mechanism is unclear. We hypothesized that HIV increases microvascular reactive oxygen species, thereby impairing endothelial function and enhancing contractility.
1.2. Method
Subcutaneous microarterioles were isolated from gluteal skin biopsies in premenopausal, African American, HIV positive women receiving effective anti-retroviral therapy, but without cardiovascular risk factors except for increased body mass index (n=10) and healthy matched controls (n=10). The arterioles were mounted on myographs, preconstricted and relaxed with acetylcholine for: endothelium-dependent relaxation, endothelium-dependent relaxation factor (nitric oxide synthase-dependent relaxation), endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizing factor (potassium-channel dependent relaxation) and endothelium-independent relaxation (nitroprusside). Contractions were tested to endothelium-dependent contracting factor (acetylcholine contraction with blocked relaxation); phenylephrine, U-46,619 and endothelin-1. Plasma L-arginine and asymmetric dimethylarginine were measured by high performance capillary electrophoresis.
1.3. Results
The micro-arterioles from HIV positive women had significantly (% change in tension; P<0.05) reduced acetylcholine relaxation (-51 ± 6 vs. -78 ± 3%), endothelium-dependent relaxation factor (-28 ± 4 vs. -39 ± 3%), endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizing factor (-17 ± 4 vs. -37 ± 4%) and decreased nitric oxide activity (0.16 ± 0.03 vs. 0.70 ± 0.16 Δ unit) but unchanged nitroprusside relaxation. They had significantly enhanced endothelium-dependent contracting factor (+21 ± 6 vs. +7 ± 2%) and contractions to U-46,619 (+164 ± 10 vs. +117 ± 11%) and endothelin-1(+151 ± 12 vs. +97 ± 9%), but not to phenylephrine. There was enhanced reactive oxygen species with acetylcholine (0.11 ± 0.02 vs. 0.05 ± 0.01 Δ unit; P<0.05) and endothelin-1 (0.31 ± 0.06 vs. 0.10 ± 0.02 Δ unit; P<0.05). Plasma L-arginine: assymetric dimethyl arginine rates was reduced (173 ± 12 vs. 231 ± 6 μmol·μmol-1, P<0.05).
1.4. Conclusion
Premenopausal HIV positive womenhad microvascular oxidative stress with severe endothelial dysfunction and reduced nitric oxide and arginine: assymetric dimethylarginine ratio but enhanced endothelial, thromboxane and endothelin contractions. These microvascular changes may herald later cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000267
PMCID: PMC4066983  PMID: 24967147
Cardiovascuar disease (CVD); Endothelial dysfunction; Nitric oxide (NO); Endothelium-dependent relaxing factor (EDRF); Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA); Thromboxane-prostanoid receptors (TP-Rs); Endothelin-1 (ET-1)
2.  Vitamin D and Insulin Resistance in Non-Diabetic Women's Interagency HIV Study Participants 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2013;27(6):320-325.
Abstract
We explored the relationship between vitamin D levels and insulin resistance (IR) among 1082 nondiabetic (754 HIV-infected) women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV study (WIHS), a large and well-established cohort of HIV infected and uninfected women in the US. Vitamin D levels 20–29 ng/mL were considered insufficient and <20 ng/mL deficient. IR was estimated using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) and a clinically significant cut-off ≥2.6 was used for HOMA-IR. In the unadjusted analysis, women who were vitamin D insufficient or deficient were 1.62 (95% CI: 1.01–2.61, p=0.05) and 1.70 (95% CI: 1.11–2.60, p=0.02) times more likely to have HOMA values≥2.6 compared to women with sufficient vitamin D. The association did not remain significant after adjustment for factors associated with IR. Among the 754 HIV-infected women, current PI use (OR 1.61, 95% CI: 1.13–2.28, p=0.008) remained independently associated with HOMA ≥2.6 while vitamin D insufficiency (OR 1.80, 95% CI: 0.99–3.27, p=0.05) was marginally associated with HOMA ≥2.6 after adjustment. Ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status, and hepatitis C status were independently associated with insulin resistance in HIV-infected and uninfected women. We found a marginally significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and insulin resistance among nondiabetic HIV-infected WIHS women.
doi:10.1089/apc.2012.0400
PMCID: PMC3671624  PMID: 23675750
3.  Treatment-related changes in serum lipids and inflammation: clinical relevance remains unclear. Analyses from the Women's Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(9):1516-1519.
Summary
Among 127 HIV-infected women, the magnitude of HDLc increases after HAART initiation predicted the magnitude of concurrent decreases in inflammation biomarkers. After HAART initiation, changes in LDLc and inflammation were unrelated. In the same population, predicted risk of coronary heart disease based upon levels of standard clinical risk factors was similar before and after HAART treatment. Thus, it remains unknown whether short-term treatment-related changes in standard risk factors may appreciably change risk of CVD.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835fd8a9
PMCID: PMC3909663  PMID: 23435295
lipids; HAART; HIV infection; inflammation
4.  The Use of Nanotrap Particles Technology in Capturing HIV-1 Virions and Viral Proteins from Infected Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96778.
HIV-1 infection results in a chronic but incurable illness since long-term HAART can keep the virus to an undetectable level. However, discontinuation of therapy rapidly increases viral burden. Moreover, patients under HAART frequently develop various metabolic disorders and HIV-associated neuronal disease. Today, the main challenge of HIV-1 research is the elimination of the residual virus in infected individuals. The current HIV-1 diagnostics are largely comprised of serological and nucleic acid based technologies. Our goal is to integrate the nanotrap technology into a standard research tool that will allow sensitive detection of HIV-1 infection. This study demonstrates that majority of HIV-1 virions in culture supernatants and Tat/Nef proteins spiked in culture medium can be captured by nanotrap particles. To determine the binding affinities of different baits, we incubated target molecules with nanotrap particles at room temperature. After short sequestration, materials were either eluted or remained attached to nanotrap particles prior to analysis. The unique affinity baits of nanotrap particles preferentially bound HIV-1 materials while excluded albumin. A high level capture of Tat or Tat peptide by NT082 and NT084 particles was measured by western blot (WB). Intracellular Nef protein was captured by NT080, while membrane-associated Nef was captured by NT086 and also detected by WB. Selective capture of HIV-1 particles by NT073 and NT086 was measured by reverse transcriptase assay, while capture of infectious HIV-1 by these nanoparticles was demonstrated by functional transactivation in TZM-bl cells. We also demonstrated specific capture of HIV-1 particles and exosomes-containing TAR-RNA in patients' serum by NT086 and NT082 particles, respectively, using specific qRT-PCR. Collectively, our data indicate that certain types of nanotrap particles selectively capture specific HIV-1 molecules, and we propose to use this technology as a platform to enhance HIV-1 detection by concentrating viral proteins and infectious virions from infected samples.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096778
PMCID: PMC4018389  PMID: 24820173
5.  HIV and Recent Illicit Drug Use Interact to Affect Verbal Memory in Women 
Objective
HIV infection and illicit drug use are each associated with diminished cognitive performance. This study examined the separate and interactive effects of HIV and recent illicit drug use on verbal memory, processing speed and executive function in the multicenter Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Methods
Participants included 952 HIV-infected and 443 HIV-uninfected women (mean age=42.8, 64% African-American). Outcome measures included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test - Revised (HVLT-R) and the Stroop test. Three drug use groups were compared: recent illicit drug users (cocaine or heroin use in past 6 months, n=140), former users (lifetime cocaine or heroin use but not in past 6 months, n=651), and non-users (no lifetime use of cocaine or heroin, n=604).
Results
The typical pattern of recent drug use was daily or weekly smoking of crack cocaine. HIV infection and recent illicit drug use were each associated with worse verbal learning and memory (p's<.05). Importantly, there was an interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use such that recent illicit drug use (compared to non-use) negatively impacted verbal learning and memory only in HIV-infected women (p's <0.01). There was no interaction between HIV serostatus and illicit drug use on processing speed or executive function on the Stroop test.
Conclusion
The interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use on verbal learning and memory suggests a potential synergistic neurotoxicity that may affect the neural circuitry underlying performance on these tasks.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318289565c
PMCID: PMC3628722  PMID: 23392462
6.  Mucosal associated invariant T cells: Don't forget your vitamins 
Cell Research  2012;23(4):460-462.
T lymphocytes express clonal receptors, called T cell receptors (TCRs), which specifically recognize antigens presented in combination with major histocompatibility molecules (MHC). To date, T cell antigens can be broadly categorized into two classes: peptides and lipids. A recent paper published in Nature by Kjer-Nielsen and colleagues reveals that a unique population of T lymphocytes expresses TCRs that recognize a completely new and unexpected class of antigens, vitamin metabolites.
doi:10.1038/cr.2012.168
PMCID: PMC3616427  PMID: 23208418
7.  Tenofovir use and urinary biomarkers among HIV-infected women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Background
Tenofovir has been associated with renal tubular injury. Biomarkers that signal early tubular dysfunction are needed because creatinine rise lags behind tenofovir-associated kidney dysfunction. We examined several urinary biomarkers to determine if rises accompanying tenofovir initiation preceded creatinine changes.
Methods
Three urinary biomarkers of tubular impairment- neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), N-acetyl- β -D-glucosaminidase (NAG), and β-2-microglobulin (β2MG)-were measured across three time points (one pre-tenofovir visit and two post tenofovir visits) in one hundred and thirty two HIV-positive women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Women initiating HAART containing tenofovir were propensity score matched to women initiating HAART without tenofovir and women not on HAART.
Results
There were no differences between groups for NGAL or NAG but β2MG was 19 times more likely to be elevated among tenofovir users at the 2nd post tenofovir visit compared to non-TDF users at the pre-tenofovir visit (p<0.01). History of proteinuria was associated with elevated NGAL (p <0.01). Factors associated with elevated NAG were GFR<60 ml/min, history of proteinuria, hepatitis C (p<0.01 for all) and diabetes mellitus (p=0.05). Factors associated with increased odds of elevated β2MG were HIV RNA>100,000 copies/ml, hepatitis C, boosted protease inhibitor (PI) use, and GFR<60 ml/min (p≤0.01 for all).
Conclusions
β2MG levels are elevated in women on tenofovir indicating probable early renal dysfunction. Biomarker elevation is additionally associated with baseline chronic kidney disease, uncontrolled viremia, and boosted PI use. Future studies are needed to explore urinary biomarker thresholds in identifying treated HIV-infected individuals at risk for renal dysfunction.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31828175c9
PMCID: PMC3692572  PMID: 23254151
Tenofovir; urinary biomarkers; HIV infected women
8.  Does HIV infection promote early kidney injury in women? 
Antiviral therapy  2013;19(1):79-87.
Background
In HIV-infected women, urine concentrations of novel tubulointerstitial injury markers, interleukin-18 (IL-18) and kidney injury marker-1 (KIM-1) are associated with kidney function decline and all-cause mortality. We hypothesized that HIV-infected individuals with preserved kidney filtration function would have more extensive kidney injury, as determined by urine injury markers, compared to the uninfected controls, and that risk factors for tubulointerstitial injury would differ from risk factors for albuminuria.
Methods
In this cross-sectional study, we compared urine concentrations of IL-18, KIM-1, and ACR in 908 HIV-infected and 289 HIV-uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study, utilizing stored urine specimens from visits between 1999 and 2000.
Results
After multivariate-adjusted linear regression analysis, mean urine concentrations were higher in HIV-infected individuals by 38% for IL-18 (p<0.0001), 12% for KIM-1 (p=0.081), and 47% for ACR (p<0.0001). Higher HIV RNA level (15% per 10-fold increase, p<0.0001), lower CD4 count (8% per doubling, p=0.0025), HCV infection (30%, p=0.00018), and lower HDL (5% per 10 mg/dL, p=0.0024) were each associated with higher IL-18 concentrations. In contrast, hypertension (81%, p<0.0001) and diabetes (47%, p=0.018) were among the strongest predictors of higher ACR, though HIV RNA level (15% per 10-fold increase, p=0.0004) was also associated with higher ACR.
Conclusions
HIV-infected women had more extensive tubulointerstitial and glomerular injury than uninfected women, but the associated factors differed among the urine biomarkers. Combinations of urinary biomarkers should be investigated to further characterize early kidney injury in HIV-infected women.
doi:10.3851/IMP2677
PMCID: PMC3933452  PMID: 23970313
9.  Association of HIV clinical disease progression with profiles of early immune activation: results from a cluster analysis approach 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(9):1473-1481.
Objective
CD4 and CD8 T-cell activation are independent predictors of AIDS. The complete activation profile of both T-cell subtypes and their predictive value for AIDS risk is largely unknown.
Design
A total of 564 AIDS-free women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study were followed over 6.1 years (median) after T-cell activation assessment. A cluster analysis approach was used to evaluate the concurrent activation patterns of CD4 and CD8 T cells at the beginning of follow-up in relation to AIDS progression.
Methods
Percentages of CD4 and CD8 T cells with HLA-DR± and CD38± were assessed by flowcytometry. Eight immunologic variables (four on each CD4+ and CD8+: DR± and CD38±) were assessed to yield a 4-cluster solution on samples obtained before clinical endpoints. Proportional hazards survival regression estimated relative risks for AIDS progression by cluster membership.
Results
Compared with the other three clusters, outstanding activation features of each distinct cluster of women were: Cluster 1: higher CD8+CD38– DR– (average = 41% of total CD8 T-cell pool), CD4+CD38– DR– (average = 53% of total CD4 T-cell pool), and CD8+CD38– DR+ (28%); Cluster 2: higher CD8+CD38+DR– (44%) and CD4+CD38+DR– (58%); Cluster 3: higher CD8+CD38+DR+ (49%) and CD4+ CD38+DR– (48%); Cluster 4: higher CD8+CD38+DR+ (49%), CD4+CD38+DR+ (36%) and CD4+CD38– DR+ (19%). Compared with cluster 1, women in cluster 4 had two-fold increased risk of AIDS progression (Hazard ratio = 2.13; 95% confidence interval = 1.30–3.50) adjusted for CD4 cell count, HIV RNA, and other confounders.
Conclusion
A profile including CD4 and CD8 T-cell activation provided insight into HIV pathogenesis indicating concurrent hyperactivation of CD4 and CD8 T cells is associated with AIDS progression.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283601bad
PMCID: PMC3949252  PMID: 23945505
AIDS; cluster analysis; immune activation
10.  The Impact of Interactions with Providers on Stroke Caregivers’ Needs 
Purpose
Preparation for caregiving is improved through engaged interactions between stroke family caregivers and healthcare providers throughout the care trajectory. We explored caregivers’ perceptions about interactions with providers in rehabilitation, and how these experiences affected caregiver preparation.
Design
Seventeen caregivers, included in this grounded theory study, were interviewed during a rehabilitation stay and post-discharge. Data were analyzed using dimensional and comparative analysis.
Findings
Caregivers described interactions with providers on a continuum from collaborative to disconnected, and a range of strategies to enhance interactions.
Conclusions
Caregivers want to be actively engaged with providers during inpatient rehabilitation and collaborative interactions enhance preparedness and care satisfaction.
Relevance
Family members should be assessed for caregiving capacity and interactions between providers and caregivers should be individualized to specific needs. Providers must also be aware that many caregivers are not active information seekers. They must engage caregivers who may not even know what questions to ask.
doi:10.1002/rnj.69
PMCID: PMC3742102  PMID: 23529947
stroke; caregiving; family-centered care; interaction; qualitative research
11.  Comparisons of creatinine and cystatin C for detection of kidney disease and prediction of all-cause mortality in HIV-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(14):2291-2299.
Background
Cystatin C could improve chronic kidney disease (CKD) classification in HIV-infected women relative to serum creatinine.
Design
Retrospective cohort analysis.
Methods
Cystatin C and creatinine were measured from specimens taken and stored during the 1999–2000 exam among 908 HIV-infected participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS). Mean follow-up was 10.2 years. The associations of baseline categories (<60, 60–90, and >90 mL/min/1.73m2) of creatinine eGFR (eGFRcr), cystatin C eGFR (eGFRcys), and combined creatinine-cystatin C eGFR (eGFRcr-cys) with all-cause mortality were evaluated using multivariable Cox regression. The net reclassification index (NRI) was calculated to evaluate the effect of cystatin C on reclassification of CKD staging.
Results
The prevalence of CKD (eGFR<60) at baseline was higher with eGFRcys (10.1%) compared to eGFRcr (6.7%, p=0.0006) and eGFRcr-cys (7.5%, p=0.011). Relative to eGFR >90, the eGFR <60 category by eGFRcys (Adjusted HR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.63, 4.02), eGFRcr-cys (3.11; 1.94–5.00), and eGFRcr (2.34; 1.44–3.79) was associated with increased mortality risk. However, the eGFR 60–90 category was associated with increased mortality risk for eGFRcys (1.80; 1.28–2.53) and eGFRcr-cys (1.91; 1.38–2.66) but not eGFRcr (1.20; 0.85–1.67). The overall NRI for mortality was 26% when reclassifying from eGFRcr to eGFRcys (p<0.001) and was 20% when reclassifying from eGFRcr to eGFRcr-cys (p<0.001).
Conclusion
Cystatin C detected a higher prevalence of CKD relative to creatinine and improves CKD staging relative to creatinine by reclassifying individuals at the highest mortality risk to lower eGFR categories.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328362e874
PMCID: PMC3919542  PMID: 23669156
Creatinine; Cystatin C; Glomerular Filtration Rate; HIV; Mortality; Kidney; Women
12.  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.
Background
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835b9ba1
PMCID: PMC3902982  PMID: 23095316
antiretroviral therapy; HIV; immune reconstitution; vitamin D; women
13.  Relation of HLA Class I and II Supertypes with Spontaneous Clearance of Hepatitis C Virus 
Genes and immunity  2013;14(5):330-335.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype has been associated with probability of spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, no prior studies have examined whether this relationship may be further characterized by grouping HLA alleles according to their supertypes, defined by their binding capacities. There is debate regarding the most appropriate method to define supertypes. Therefore, previously reported HLA supertypes (46 class I and 25 class II) were assessed for their relation with HCV clearance in a population of 758 HCV-seropositive women. Two HLA class II supertypes were significant in multivariable models that included: (i) supertypes with significant or borderline associations with HCV clearance after adjustment for multiple tests, and (ii) individual HLA alleles not part of these supertypes, but associated with HCV clearance in our prior study in this population. Specifically, supertype DRB3 (prevalence ratio (PR)=0.4; p=0.004) was associated with HCV persistence while DR8 (PR=1.8; p=0.01) was associated with HCV clearance. Two individual alleles (B*57:01 and C*01:02) associated with HCV clearance in our prior study became non-significant in analysis that included supertypes while B*57:03 (PR=1.9; p=0.008) and DRB1*07:01 (PR=1.7; p=0.005) retained significance. These data provide epidemiologic support for the significance of HLA supertypes in relation to HCV clearance.
doi:10.1038/gene.2013.25
PMCID: PMC3723800  PMID: 23636221
hepatitis C virus; HLA; human leukocyte antigen; supertype
14.  Cochlear Function among HIV-Seropositive and HIV-Seronegative Men and Women 
Ear and hearing  2014;35(1):10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182a021c8.
Objectives
There is limited research about cochlear function in adults who are human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive (+). The aim of the present study was to collect measures of cochlear function in a large sample of adults with, or at risk for, HIV infection, to evaluate associations between HIV status, HIV treatment, and cochlear function.
Design
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were used to evaluate cochlear function in 506 participants; 329 men, 150 of whom were HIV+, and 177 women, 136 of whom were HIV+. DPOAEs were measured at frequencies 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz. A DPOAE nonresponse (NR) was defined as an absolute DPOAE level less than −15 dB SPL or a difference between the absolute DPOAE level and the background noise level less than 6 dB. The total number of NRs was calculated for each ear. The associations of demographic variables, HIV status, and HIV treatment with number of NRs were evaluated with univariate and multivariate ordinal regression models.
Results
There was a statistically significant increase in the odds of higher numbers of NRs with age, being male, and being non-Black, but not with HIV status. Among HIV+ participants, there were no statistically significant associations of the HIV disease status or treatment variables with higher number of NRs.
Conclusion
The authors found no evidence of impaired cochlear function by HIV disease status or highly active antiretroviral therapy–treated HIV infection in this cross-sectional study.
doi:10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182a021c8
PMCID: PMC3872496  PMID: 24080949
15.  Effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy and its adherence on herpes zoster incidence: a longitudinal cohort study 
Background
Herpes zoster (HZ) is common among HIV-infected individuals, but the impacts of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HAART adherence on HZ risk have not been well studied.
Methods
The effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence were evaluated by comparing HIV-infected women on HAART (HAART use group) with the HIV-infected women remaining HAART naïve (HAART naïve group) in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). A 1:1 matching with propensity score for predicting HAART initiation was conducted to balance background covariates at index visit, including HIV disease stage. Kaplan-Meier method was used to compare the risk of HZ development between the matched pairs. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the effects of HAART and HAART adherence on HZ incidence.
Results
Through propensity score matching, 389 pairs of participants were identified and they contributed 3,909 person years after matching. The background covariates were similar between the matched pairs at the index visit. The participants had a mean age around 39 years old, and about 61% of them were Black and 22% were Latina. No significant difference in HZ risk was observed between the HAART use group and the HAART naïve group during the first year of follow-up in any analyses. In the univariate analysis, the HAART use group had marginally lower HZ risk (Hazard Ratio (HR): 0.72; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.48-1.1) over the entire follow-up period. However, women with a HAART adherence level of ≥95% had significantly lower HZ risk (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.94) compared to the HAART naïve women. The association remained significant after adjusting for quality of life score and acyclovir use, but it attenuated and was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for an intermediate variable, either CD4+ T cell counts or HIV viral load.
Conclusions
Among adult women, we observed a significant preventive effect of long-term HAART use on HZ incidence when a HAART adherence level of ≥95% was attained, and this effect was mediated through reduction of HIV viral load and improvement of CD4+ T cell counts.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-10-34
PMCID: PMC3904465  PMID: 24373482
HAART; Adherence; Herpes zoster; Incidence; Propensity score
16.  Urinary Markers of Kidney Injury and Kidney Function Decline in HIV-Infected Women 
Objective
HIV-infected persons have substantially higher risk of kidney failure than persons without HIV, but serum creatinine levels are insensitive for detecting declining kidney function. We hypothesized that urine markers of kidney injury would be associated with declining kidney function among HIV-infected women.
Methods
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), we measured concentrations of albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), interleukin-18 (IL-18), kidney injury marker-1 (KIM-1), and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) from stored urine among 908 HIV-infected and 289 uninfected participants. Primary analyses used cystatin C based estimated glomerular filtration rate (CKD-EPI eGFRcys) as the outcome, measured at baseline and two follow-up visits over eight years; secondary analyses used creatinine (CKD-EPI eGFRcr). Each urine biomarker was categorized into tertiles, and kidney decline was modeled with both continuous and dichotomized outcomes.
Results
Compared with the lowest tertiles, the highest tertiles of ACR (−0.15ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.0001), IL-18 (−0.09ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.0001) and KIM-1 (−0.06ml/min/1.73m2, p<0.001) were independently associated with faster eGFRcys decline after multivariate adjustment including all three biomarkers among HIV-infected women. Among these biomarkers, only IL-18 was associated with each dichotomized eGFRcys outcome: ≥3% (Relative Risk 1.40; 95%CI 1.04-1.89); ≥5% (1.88; 1.30-2.71); and ≥10% (2.16; 1.20-3.88) for the highest versus lowest tertile. In alternative models using eGFRcr, the high tertile of KIM-1 had independent associations with 5% (1.71; 1.25-2.33) and 10% (1.78; 1.07-2.96) decline, and the high IL-18 tertile with 10% decline (1.97; 1.00-3.87).
Conclusions
Among HIV-infected women in the WIHS cohort, novel urine markers of kidney injury detect risk for subsequent declines in kidney function.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182737706
PMCID: PMC3509242  PMID: 23023103
HIV; KIM-1; NGAL; IL-18; albumin-to-creatinine ratio; cystatin C; kidney injury
17.  Association of subclinical atherosclerosis with lipid levels amongst antiretroviral-treated and untreated HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Atherosclerosis  2012;225(2):408-411.
Objective
We examined serum lipids in association with carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.
Methods
In 2003–4, among 1827 Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants, we measured CIMT and lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c], total cholesterol [TC], non-HDL-c). A subset of 520 treated HIV-infected women had pre-1997 lipid measures. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations between lipids and CIMT.
Results
In HIV-uninfected women, higher TC, LDL-c and non-HDL-c were associated with increased CIMT. Among HIV-infected women, associations of lipids with CIMT were observed in treated but not untreated women. Among the HIV-infected women treated in 2003–4, CIMT was associated both with lipids measured a decade earlier in infection, and with late lipid measurements.
Conclusion
Among HIV-infected women, hyperlipidemia is most strongly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in treated women. Among treated women, the association appeared strongest early in the disease course.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.09.035
PMCID: PMC3696584  PMID: 23089369
cardiovascular diseases; carotid arteries; HAART; HIV; lipids
18.  The Crisis of Stroke: Experiences of Patients and Their Family Caregivers 
Topics in stroke rehabilitation  2011;18(6):10.1310/tsr1806-786.
Purpose
Approximately 4.8 million stroke survivors are living in the community with some level of disability requiring the assistance of family caregivers. Stroke family caregivers are often unprepared for the demands required of them. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the needs of stroke patients and their family caregivers as they transitioned through the stroke care continuum from acute care to inpatient rehabilitation to home.
Methods
Thirty-eight participants, 19 recovering stroke patients (11 male, 8 female), 15 primary family caregivers (14 spouses, 1 mother), and 4 adult children were interviewed during their stay at a rehabilitation facility and within 6 months of discharge. Interview questions were loosely structured and focused on the stroke experience and how patients and caregivers were managing postdischarge. Data were analyzed using dimensional and comparative analysis.
Results
Findings were organized in a conceptual framework illustrating the trajectory of the crisis of stroke. Stroke survivors and their caregivers faced enormous challenges as they moved through 3 phases of the trajectory: the stroke crisis, expectations for recovery, and the crisis of discharge. Findings from this study suggest that as caregivers move through the phases of the trajectory, they do not have a good understanding of the role to which they are committing, and they are often underprepared to take on even the basic tasks to meet the patients’ needs on discharge.
Conclusion
Stroke survivors and their caregivers do not have adequate time to deal with the shock and crisis of the stroke event, let alone the crisis of discharge and all of the new responsibilities with which they must deal.
doi:10.1310/tsr1806-786
PMCID: PMC3822775  PMID: 22436315
caregiving; discharge planning; qualitative research; stroke
19.  Association of HIV infection with Incident Diabetes Mellitus: Impact of using Hemoglobin A1C as a Criterion for Diabetes 
Background
Data regarding the association between HIV and DM are conflicting, with little known regarding the impact of including hemoglobin A1C (A1C) as a criterion for DM.
Methods
Pooled logistic regression was used to quantify the association between HIV and DM in 1501 HIV-infected and 550 HIV-uninfected participants from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Incident DM was defined using three DM definitions: (I) fasting glucose (FG) ≥126mg/dl, anti-DM medication, or reporting DM diagnosis (with confirmation by FG≥126mg/dl or anti-DM medication); (II) confirmation with a second FG≥126mg/dl; and (III) addition of A1C≥6.5% confirmed by FG≥126mg/dl or anti-DM medication.
Results
DM incidence per 100 person-years was 2.44, 1.55, and 1.70 for HIV-infected women; 1.89, 0.85, and 1.13 for HIV-uninfected women, using definition I, II, and III, respectively. After adjustment for traditional DM risk factors, HIV infection was associated with 1.23, 1.90, and 1.38-fold higher risk of incident DM, respectively; the association reached statistical significance only when confirmation with a second FG≥126mg/dl was required. Older age, obesity, and a family history of DM were each consistently and strongly associated with increased DM risk.
Conclusions
HIV infection is consistently associated with greater risk of DM. Inclusion of an elevated A1C to define DM increases the accuracy of the diagnosis and only slightly attenuates the magnitude of the association otherwise observed between HIV and DM. By contrast, a DM diagnosis made without any confirmatory criteria for FG ≥126mg/dl overestimates the incidence, while also underestimating the effects of HIV on DM risk, and should be avoided.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31826bfc32
PMCID: PMC3480977  PMID: 22878421
Diabetes mellitus; HIV; Women; Hemoglobin A1C
20.  Depressive Symptoms are Increased in the Early Perimenopausal Stage in Ethnically Diverse HIV+ and HIV− Women 
Menopause (New York, N.Y.)  2012;19(11):1215-1223.
Objective
The risk of clinically significant depressive symptoms increases during the perimenopause. With highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), more HIV-infected women survive to transition through the menopause. In a cross-sectional analysis, we evaluated the association of menopausal stage and vasomotor symptoms with depressive symptoms in an ethnically diverse, cohort of women with a high prevalence of HIV.
Methods
Participants included 835 HIV-infected women and 335 HIV-uninfected controls from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; 63% African-American). The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale was used to screen for elevated depressive symptoms. Menopausal stages were defined according to standard definitions. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of elevated depressive symptoms.
Results
Compared to premenopausal women, early perimenopausal (OR 1.74, 95%CI 1.17–2.60), but not late perimenopausal or postmenopausal women were more likely to show elevated depressive symptoms in adjusted analyses. The odds were similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. Persistent vasomotor symptoms also predicted elevated depressive symptoms in HIV-infected and uninfected women (OR 1.45, 95%CI 1.02–2.06). In HIV-infected women, menopausal stage interacted with antiretroviral use (p=0.02); the likelihood of elevated depressive symptoms in early perimenopause compared with premenopause was especially high in HAART-untreated women (OR 3.87, 95%CI 1.57–9.55).
Conclusions
In HIV+ and HIV− women, the odds of elevated depressive symptoms were significantly higher during the early perimenopause. Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with nonadherence to HAART, underscoring the importance of screening and treating depressive symptoms in HIV+ women who have experienced a change in the regularity of their menstrual cycles.
doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e318255434d
PMCID: PMC3483358  PMID: 22872013
HIV; Depression; Menopause; Perimenopause; African American; Vasomotor
21.  The Rising Challenge of Non–AIDS-Defining Cancers in HIV-Infected Patients 
In the post–highly active combination antiretroviral therapy era, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are facing high rates of so–called non–AIDS–defining cancers. The challenge facing clinicians caring for HIV patients is how best to screen, treat, and prevent these cancers.
Since the advent of HAART, patients with HIV infection have seen a significant improvement in their morbidity, mortality, and life expectancy. The incidence of AIDS-defining illnesses, including AIDS-defining malignancies, has been on the decline. However, deaths due to non–AIDS-defining illnesses have been on the rise. These so-called non–AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) include cancers of the lung, liver, kidney, anus, head and neck, and skin, as well as Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is poorly understood why this higher rate of NADCs is occurring. The key challenge facing oncologists is how to administer chemotherapy effectively and safely to patients on antiretroviral therapy. The challenge to clinicians caring for HIV-infected patients is to develop and implement effective means to screen, treat, and prevent NADCs in the future. This review presents data on the epidemiology and etiology of NADCs, as well as ongoing research into this evolving aspect of the HIV epidemic.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis613
PMCID: PMC3529613  PMID: 22776851
22.  Trends in Contraceptive Use Among Women With Human Immunodeficiency Virus 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2012;120(4):783-790.
Objective
To estimate trends in contraceptive use, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and condoms, among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women.
Methods
HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women in a multicenter longitudinal cohort were interviewed semiannually between 1998 and 2010 about sexual behaviors and contraceptive use. Trends in contraceptive use by women aged 18–45 years who were at risk for unintended pregnancy but not trying to conceive were analyzed using generalized estimating equations.
Results
Condoms were the dominant form of contraception for HIV-seropositive women and showed little change across time. Fewer than 15% of these women used no contraception. Between 1998 and 2010, LARC use rose among HIV-seronegative women from 4.8% (6/126) to 13.5% (19/141, p=0.02), but not significantly among seropositive women (0.9% (4/438) to 2.8% (6/213, p = 0.09). Use of highly effective contraceptives, including pills, patches, rings, injectable progestin, implants and intrauterine devices, ranged from 15.2% (53/348) in 1998 to 17.4% (37/213) in 2010 (p = 0.55). HIV-seronegative but not seropositive LARC users were less likely than nonusers to use condoms consistently (HR=0.51, 95% C.I. 0.32–0.81, p = 0.004 for seronegative women; HR = 1.09, 95% C.I. 0.96, 1.23 for seropositive women).
Conclusion
Although most HIV-seropositive women use contraception, they rely primarily on condoms and have not experienced the increase in LARC use seen among seronegative women. Strategies to improve simultaneous use of condoms and LARC are needed to minimize risk of unintended pregnancy as well as HIV transmission and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections.
doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e318269c8bb
PMCID: PMC3449062  PMID: 22996095
23.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 decreases the levels of neurotrophins in human lymphocytes 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(8):1126-1128.
Summary
Neurotrophins control cell survival. Therefore, we examined whether HIV-1 reduces neurotrophin levels. Serum of HIV-positive individuals exhibited lower concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), but not of other neurotrophins, than HIV negative subjects. In addition, R5 and X4 strains of HIV-1 decreased BDNF expression in T cells. Our results support the hypothesis that reduced levels of BDNF may be a risk factor for T cell apoptosis and for neurological complications associated with HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834671b3
PMCID: PMC3752340  PMID: 21422985
BDNF; NGF; NT-3; HIV-1; drug abuse; Women’s Interagency HIV Study
24.  Potential cardiovascular disease risk markers among HIV-infected women initiating antiretroviral treatment 
Background
Inflammation and hemostasis perturbation may be involved in vascular complications of HIV infection. We examined atherogenic biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected adults before and after beginning highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Methods
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), 127 HIV-infected women studied pre- and post-HAART were matched to HIV-uninfected controls. Six semi-annual measurements of soluble CD14, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor, IL-6, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, D-dimer, and fibrinogen were obtained. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) was measured by B-mode ultrasound.
Results
Relative to HIV-uninfected controls, HAART-naïve HIV-infected women had elevated levels of soluble CD14 (1945 vs 1662 ng/mL, Wilcoxon signed rank P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (6.3 vs 3.4 pg/mL, P<0.0001), soluble IL-2 receptor (1587 vs 949 pg/mL, P<0.0001), IL-10 (3.3 vs 1.9 pg/mL, P<0.0001), MCP-1 (190 vs 163 pg/mL, P<0.0001) and D-dimer (0.43 vs 0.31 µg/mL, P<0.01). Elevated biomarker levels declined after HAART. While most biomarkers normalized to HIV-uninfected levels, in women on effective HAART, TNF-alpha levels remained elevated compared to HIV-uninfected women (+0.8 pg/mL, P=0.0002). Higher post-HAART levels of soluble IL-2 receptor (P=0.02), IL-6 (P=0.05), and D-dimer (P=0.03) were associated with increased CIMT.
Conclusions
Untreated HIV infection is associated with abnormal hemostasis (e.g., D-dimer), and pro-atherogenic (e.g., TNF-alpha) and anti-atherogenic (e.g., IL-10) inflammatory markers. HAART reduces most inflammatory mediators to HIV-uninfected levels. Increased inflammation and hemostasis are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in recently treated women. These findings have potential implications for long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients, even with effective therapy.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31825b03be
PMCID: PMC3400505  PMID: 22592585
antiretroviral therapy; cardiovascular diseases; cytokines; hemostasis; HIV; inflammation
25.  The attitudes of people with sarcoma and their family towards genomics and incidental information arising from genetic research 
Purpose
The study aimed to examine attitudes of individuals diagnosed with sarcoma and their family members towards genetics, genomic research and incidental information arising as a result of participating in genetic research.
Methods
A questionnaire was administered to 1200 individuals from the International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS). Respondents were divided into three groups: individuals affected with sarcoma (probands), their spouses and family members.
Results
Approximately half of all research participants felt positively towards new discoveries in human genetics. Overall, more were positive in their attitudes towards genetic testing for inherited conditions (60%) but family members were less so. Older participants reported more highly positive attitudes more often than younger participants. Males were less likely to feel positive about new genetic discoveries and more likely to believe they could modify genetic risk by altering lifestyle factors. Almost all ISKS participants believed participants would like to be given ancillary information arising as a result of participating in genetic research.
Conclusions
The only difference between the study groups was the decreased likelihood of family members being highly positive about genetic testing. This may be important if predictive testing for sarcoma becomes available. Generally ISKS research participants supported the notion of returning incidental genetic information to research participants.
doi:10.1186/2045-3329-3-11
PMCID: PMC3751730  PMID: 23898988

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