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1.  Illicit Drug Use, Depression and their Association with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-Positive Women 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2007;89(1):74-81.
Background
We examined the interaction of illicit drug use and depressive symptoms, and how they affect the subsequent likelihood of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use among women with HIV/AIDS.
Methods
Subjects included 1,710 HIV-positive women recruited from six sites in the U.S. including Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC. Cases of probable depression were identified using depressive symptom scores on the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Crack, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine use were self-reported at 6-month time intervals. We conducted multivariate logistic random regression analysis of data collected during sixteen waves of semiannual interviews conducted from April 1996 through March 2004.
Results
We found an interaction effect between illicit drug use and depression that acted to suppress subsequent HAART use, controlling for virologic and immunologic indicators, socio-demographic variables, time, and study site.
Conclusions
This is the first study to document the interactive effects of drug use and depressive symptoms on reduced likelihood of HAART use in a national cohort of women. Since evidence-based behavioral health and antiretroviral therapies for each of these three conditions are now available, comprehensive HIV treatment is an achievable public health goal.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.12.002
PMCID: PMC4009351  PMID: 17291696
HIV; depression; HAART; drug use
2.  Fracture incidence in HIV-infected women: results from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(17):2679-2686.
Background
The clinical importance of the association of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) with low bone mineral density (BMD) in premenopausal women is uncertain because BMD stabilizes on established ART and fracture data are limited.
Methods
We measured time to first new fracture at any site with median follow-up of 5.4 years in 2391 (1728 HIV-infected, 663 HIV-uninfected) participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Self-report of fracture was recorded at semiannual visits. Proportional hazard models assessed predictors of incident fracture.
Results
At baseline, HIV-infected women were older (40 ± 9 vs. 36 ± 10 years, P <0.0001), more likely to report postmenopausal status and be hepatitis C virus-infected, and weighed less than HIV-uninfected women. Among HIV-infected women, mean CD4+ cell count was 482 cells/μl; 66% were taking ART. Unadjusted incidence of fracture did not differ between HIV-infected and uninfected women (1.8 vs. 1.4/100 person-years, respectively, P = 0.18). In multivariate models, white (vs. African-American) race, hepatitis C virus infection, and higher serum creatinine, but not HIV serostatus, were statistically significant predictors of incident fracture. Among HIV-infected women, older age, white race, current cigarette use, and history of AIDS-defining illness were associated with incidence of new fracture.
Conclusion
Among predominantly premenopausal women, there was little difference in fracture incidence rates by HIV status, rather traditional risk factors were important predictors. Further research is necessary to characterize fracture risk in HIV-infected women during and after the menopausal transition.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32833f6294
PMCID: PMC3108019  PMID: 20859192
fracture; fragility fracture; HIV-infected women; premenopausal
3.  HIV Tropism and Decreased Risk of Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14349.
Background
During the first two decades of the U.S. AIDS epidemic, and unlike some malignancies, breast cancer risk was significantly lower for women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection compared to the general population. This deficit in HIV-associated breast cancer could not be attributed to differences in survival, immune deficiency, childbearing or other breast cancer risk factors. HIV infects mononuclear immune cells by binding to the CD4 molecule and to CCR5 or CXCR4 chemokine coreceptors. Neoplastic breast cells commonly express CXCR4 but not CCR5. In vitro, binding HIV envelope protein to CXCR4 has been shown to induce apoptosis of neoplastic breast cells. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that breast cancer risk would be lower among women with CXCR4-tropic HIV infection.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a breast cancer nested case-control study among women who participated in the WIHS and HERS HIV cohort studies with longitudinally collected risk factor data and plasma. Cases were HIV-infected women (mean age 46 years) who had stored plasma collected within 24 months of breast cancer diagnosis and an HIV viral load ≥500 copies/mL. Three HIV-infected control women, without breast cancer, were matched to each case based on age and plasma collection date. CXCR4-tropism was determined by a phenotypic tropism assay. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for breast cancer were estimated by exact conditional logistic regression. Two (9%) of 23 breast cancer cases had CXCR4-tropic HIV, compared to 19 (28%) of 69 matched controls. Breast cancer risk was significantly and independently reduced with CXCR4 tropism (adjusted odds ratio, 0.10, 95% CI 0.002–0.84) and with menopause (adjusted odds ratio, 0.08, 95% CI 0.001–0.83). Adjustment for CD4+ cell count, HIV viral load, and use of antiretroviral therapy did not attenuate the association between infection with CXCR4-tropic HIV and breast cancer.
Conclusions
Low breast cancer risk with HIV is specifically linked to CXCR4-using variants of HIV. These variants are thought to exclusively bind to and signal through a receptor that is commonly expressed on hyperplastic and neoplastic breast duct cells. Additional studies are needed to confirm these observations and to understand how CXCR4 might reduce breast cancer risk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014349
PMCID: PMC3002931  PMID: 21179547
4.  Protease Inhibitor Levels in Hair Samples Strongly Predict Virologic Responses to HIV Treatment 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(4):471-478.
Objective
Antiretroviral (ARV) therapies fail when behavioral or biologic factors lead to inadequate medication exposure. Currently available methods to assess ARV exposure are limited. Levels of ARVs in hair reflect plasma concentrations over weeks to months and may provide a novel method for predicting therapeutic responses.
Design/methods
The Women's Interagency HIV Study, a prospective cohort of HIV-infected women, provided the basis for developing and assessing methods to measure commonly-prescribed protease inhibitors (PIs) - lopinavir (LPV) and atazanavir (ATV) - in small hair samples. We examined the association between hair PI levels and initial virologic responses to therapy in multivariate logistic regression models.
Results
ARV concentrations in hair were strongly and independently associated with treatment response for 224 women starting a new PI-based regimen. For participants initiating LPV/RTV, the odds ratio (OR) for virologic suppression was 39.8 (95%CI 2.8–564) for those with LPV hair levels in the top tertile (>1.9ng/mg) compared to the bottom (≤0.41ng/mg) when controlling for self-reported adherence, age, race, starting viral load and CD4, and prior PI experience. For women starting ATV, the adjusted OR for virologic success was 7.7 (95%CI 2.0-29.7) for those with hair concentrations in the top tertile (>3.4ng/mg) compared to the lowest (≤1.2ng/mg).
Conclusions
PI levels in small hair samples were the strongest independent predictor of virologic success in a diverse group of HIV-infected adults. This noninvasive method for determining ARV exposure may have particular relevance for the epidemic in resource-poor settings due to the ease of collecting and storing hair.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328325a4a9
PMCID: PMC2654235  PMID: 19165084
Hair levels; therapeutic drug monitoring; antiretroviral exposure; virologic response; protease inhibitors; atazanavir; lopinavir; WIHS cohort

Results 1-4 (4)