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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Circulating Vitamin D Correlates with Serum Anti-Mullerian Hormone Levels in Late Reproductive-Aged Women: Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Fertility and Sterility  2012;98(1):228-234.
Objective
To study the correlation between circulating 25 hydroxy-vitamin D (25OH-D) levels and serum AMH in women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Design
A cross-sectional study.
Setting
WIHS, a multicenter prospective study.
Patient(s)
All premenopausal women (n=388) with regular menstrual cycles were included and subdivided into three groups: group 1 with age <35 (N=128), group 2 with age 35 to 39 (N=119), and group 3 with age ≥ 40 (N=141).
Intervention(s)
Serum for 25OH-D, AMH, fasting glucose and insulin, and creatinine levels.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Correlation between 25OH-D and AMH before and after adjusting for HIV status, BMI, race, smoking, illicit drug use, glucose and insulin levels, estimated glomerular filtration rate and geographic site of participation.
Result(s)
After adjusting for all covariates, the regression slope in all participants for total 25OH-D predicting log10AMH for 25-year-olds (youngest participant) was −0.001 (SE=0.008, p=0.847); and for 45-year-olds (oldest participant), the corresponding slope was +0.011 (SE=0.005, p=0.021). Fasting insulin level was negatively correlated with serum AMH (p=0.016). The regression slope for the correlation between 25OH-D and AMH in group 1 was +0.002 (SE=0.006, p=0.764); in group 2 was +0.006 (SE=0.005, p=0.269); and in group 3 was +0.011 (SE=0.005, p=0.022). There was no association between HIV and AMH.
Conclusion(s)
A novel relationship is reported between circulating 25OH-D and AMH in women aged = 40 suggesting that 25OH-D deficiency might be associated with lower ovarian reserve in late reproductive-aged women.
doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.03.029
PMCID: PMC3389125  PMID: 22494925
Vitamin D; anti-mullerian hormonem mullerian inhibiting substance; HIV; ovarian reserve; insulin resistance; obesity
7.  Insulin Resistance and Cognition Among HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Adult Women: The Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Abstract
Cognitive impairment remains prevalent in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and may be partially due to comorbidities. We postulated that insulin resistance (IR) is negatively associated with cognitive performance. We completed a cross-sectional analysis among 1547 (1201 HIV+) women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). We evaluated the association of IR with cognitive measures among all WIHS women with concurrent fasting bloods and cognitive testing [Trails A, Trails B, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT)] using multiple linear regression models. A smaller subgroup also completed the Stroop test (n=1036). IR was estimated using the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA). Higher HOMA was associated with poorer performance on the SDMT, Stroop Color-Naming (SCN) trial, and Stroop interference trial, but remained statistically significant only for the SCN in models adjusting for important factors [β=3.78 s (95% CI: 0.48–7.08), p=0.025, for highest vs. lowest quartile of HOMA]. HIV status did not appear to substantially impact the relationship of HOMA with SCN. There was a small but statistically significant association of HOMA and reduced neuropsychological performance on the SCN test in this cohort of women.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0159
PMCID: PMC3332367  PMID: 21878059
8.  The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(4):527-531.
Objective
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I stimulates the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), the primary source of extracellular matrix accumulation in liver fibrosis. In contrast, insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 3, the most abundant IGFBP in circulation, negatively modulates HSC mitogenesis. To investigate the role of the IGF axis in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease among high-risk patients, we prospectively evaluated HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
Design
A cohort investigation.
Methods
Total IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in baseline serum specimens obtained from 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects enrolled in the Women's Inter-agency HIV Study, a large multi-institutional cohort. The aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), a marker of liver fibrosis, was assessed annually.
Results
Normal APRI levels (< 1.0) at baseline were detected in 374 of the 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects tested, of whom 302 had complete liver function test data and were studied. IGF-I was positively associated [adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest and lowest quartiles (AORq4–q1), 5.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–29.1; Ptrend = 0.03], and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated (AORq4–q1, 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.76; Ptrend = 0.04), with subsequent (incident) detection of an elevated APRI level(> 1.5), after adjustment for the CD4 T-cell count, alcohol consumption, and other risk factors.
Conclusion
High IGF-I may be associated with increased risk and high IGFBP-3 with reduced risk of liver disease among HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3282f22cdf
PMCID: PMC3507535  PMID: 18301066
aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI; hepatitis C virus (HCV); HIV; IGFBP-3; IGF; liver disease
9.  The effect of HIV infection and HAART on inflammatory biomarkers in a population-based cohort of US women 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(15):1823-1832.
Objective
HIV causes inflammation that can be at least partially corrected by HAART. To determine the qualitative and quantitative nature of cytokine perturbation, we compared cytokine patterns in three HIV clinical groups including HAART responders (HAART), untreated HIV non-controllers (NC), and HIV-uninfected (NEG).
Methods
Multiplex assays were used to measure 32 cytokines in a cross-sectional study of participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Participants from 3 groups were included: HAART (n=17), NC (n=14), and HIV NEG (n=17).
Results
Several cytokines and chemokines showed significant differences between NC and NEG participants, including elevated IP-10 and TNF-α and decreased IL-12(p40), IL-15, and FGF-2 in NC participants. Biomarker levels among HAART women more closely resembled the NEG, with the exception of TNF-α and FGF-2. Secondary analyses of the combined HAART and NC groups revealed that IP-10 showed a strong, positive correlation with viral load and negative correlation with CD4+ T cell counts. The growth factors VEGF, EGF, and FGF-2 all showed a positive correlation with increased CD4+ T cell counts.
Conclusion
Untreated, progressive HIV infection was associated with decreased serum levels of cytokines important in T cell homeostasis (IL-15) and T cell phenotype determination (IL-12), and increased levels of innate inflammatory mediators such as IP-10 and TNF-α. HAART was associated with cytokine profiles that more closely resembled those of HIV uninfected women. The distinctive pattern of cytokine levels in the 3 study groups may provide insights into HIV pathogenesis, and responses to therapy.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283489d1f
PMCID: PMC3314300  PMID: 21572306
HIV; CD4+ T cells; cytokines; chemokines; HAART
10.  Atazanavir Concentration in Hair Is the Strongest Predictor of Outcomes on Antiretroviral Therapy 
In a longitudinal study of outcomes on atazanavir-based therapy in a large cohort of HIV-infected women, hair levels of atazanavir were the strongest independent predictor of virologic suppression. Hair antiretroviral concentrations may serve as a useful tool in HIV care.
Background. Adequate exposure to antiretrovirals is important to maintain durable responses, but methods to assess exposure (eg, querying adherence and single plasma drug level measurements) are limited. Hair concentrations of antiretrovirals can integrate adherence and pharmacokinetics into a single assay.
Methods. Small hair samples were collected from participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (and at-risk noninfected) women. From 2003 through 2008, we analyzed atazanavir hair concentrations longitudinally for women reporting receipt of atazanavir-based therapy. Multivariate random effects logistic regression models for repeated measures were used to estimate the association of hair drug levels with the primary outcome of virologic suppression (HIV RNA level, <80 copies/mL).
Results. 424 WIHS participants (51% African-American, 31% Hispanic) contributed 1443 person-visits to the analysis. After adjusting for age, race, treatment experience, pretreatment viral load, CD4 count and AIDS status, and self-reported adherence, hair levels were the strongest predictor of suppression. Categorized hair antiretroviral levels revealed a monotonic relationship to suppression; women with atazanavir levels in the highest quintile had odds ratios (ORs) of 59.8 (95% confidence ratio, 29.0–123.2) for virologic suppression. Hair atazanavir concentrations were even more strongly associated with resuppression of viral loads in subgroups in which there had been previous lapses in adherence (OR, 210.2 [95% CI, 46.0–961.1]), low hair levels (OR, 132.8 [95% CI, 26.5–666.0]), or detectable viremia (OR, 400.7 [95% CI, 52.3–3069.7]).
Conclusions. Antiretroviral hair levels surpassed any other predictor of virologic outcomes to HIV treatment in a large cohort. Low antiretroviral exposure in hair may trigger interventions prior to failure or herald virologic failure in settings where measurement of viral loads is unavailable. Monitoring hair antiretroviral concentrations may be useful for prolonging regimen durability.
doi:10.1093/cid/cir131
PMCID: PMC3079399  PMID: 21507924
11.  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
12.  CCR2 Genotype and Disease Progression in a Treated Population of HIV Type 1–Infected Women 
Both antiretroviral therapy and the human coreceptor polymorphism CCR2-V64I slow progression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease. To examine the effect of V64I on disease progression in patients receiving therapy, we determined CCR2 genotypes in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study cohort. We studied 2047 HIV-1–infected women, most of whom initiated treatment during the study. No association was seen between CCR2 genotype and either disease progression or therapeutic response, suggesting that the benefits of treatment most likely overshadow the salutary effects of the V64I polymorphism.
doi:10.1086/423386
PMCID: PMC3164116  PMID: 15472820
13.  Associations of Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF)–I and IGF-Binding Protein–3 with HIV Disease Progression in Women 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;197(2):319-327.
Background
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis has been hypothesized to influence the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression. This premise is based largely on laboratory models showing that IGF-I stimulates thymic growth and increases lymphocyte numbers and that IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)–3 has an opposing effect, inhibiting hematopoietic stem cell development.
Methods
We studied 1422 HIV-infected women enrolled in a large cohort that entailed semiannual follow-up (initiated in 1994). Baseline serum samples were tested for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 to determine their associations with incident clinical acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and CD4+ T cell count decline prior to April 1996 (before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy [HAART]).
Results
Low IGF-I levels (Ptrend = .02) and high IGFBP-3 levels (Ptrend = .02) were associated with rapid CD4+ T cell count decline. Only IGFBP-3, however, was significantly associated with AIDS incidence (hazard ratio for highest vs. lowest quartile, 2.65 [95% confidence interval, 1.30–5.42]; Ptrend = .02) in multivariable models.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that serum levels of IGFBP-3 (and possibly IGF-I) are associated with the rate of HIV disease progression in women and, more broadly, that interindividual heterogeneity in the IGF axis may influence HIV pathogenesis. If correct, the IGF axis could be a target for interventions to slow HIV disease progression and extend the time before use of HAART becomes necessary.
doi:10.1086/524848
PMCID: PMC3127259  PMID: 18177247
14.  Causes of Death among Women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
The American journal of medicine  2002;113(2):91-98.
PURPOSE
To examine changes in the causes of death and mortality in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy.
METHODS
Among women with, or at risk of, HIV infection, who were enrolled in a national study from 1994 to 1995, we used an algorithm that classified cause of death as due to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or non-AIDS causes based on data from death certificates and the CD4 count. Poisson regression models were used to estimate death rates and to determine the risk factors for AIDS and non-AIDS deaths.
RESULTS
Of 2059 HIV-infected women and 569 who were at risk of HIV infection, 468 (18%) had died by April 2000 (451 HIV-infected and 17 not infected). Causes of death were available for 428 participants (414 HIV-infected and 14 not infected). Among HIV-infected women, deaths were classified as AIDS (n = 294), non-AIDS (n = 91), or indeterminate (n = 29). The non-AIDS causes included liver failure (n = 19), drug overdose (n = 16), non-AIDS malignancies (n = 12), cardiac disease (n = 10), and murder, suicide, or accident (n = 10). All-cause mortality declined an average of 26% per year (P = 0.03) and AIDS-related mortality declined by 39% per year (P = 0.01), whereas non-AIDS-related mortality remained stable (10% average annual decrease, P = 0.73). Factors that were independently associated with non-AIDS-related mortality included depression, history of injection drug use with hepatitis C infection, cigarette smoking, and age.
CONCLUSION
A substantial minority (20%) of deaths among women with HIV was due to causes other than AIDS. Our data suggest that to decrease mortality further among HIV-infected women, attention must be paid to treatable conditions, such as hepatitis C, depression, and drug and tobacco use.
PMCID: PMC3126666  PMID: 12133746
15.  Increased Circulating Interleukin-7 Levels in HIV-1–Infected Women 
Summary
Sex-based differences in CD4 T-cell (CD4) counts are well recognized, but the basis for these differences has not been identified. Conceivably, homeostatic factors may play a role in this process by regulating T-cell maintenance and repletion. Interleukin (IL)-7 is essential for normal T-cell production and homeostasis. We hypothesized that differences in IL-7 might contribute to sex-based differences in CD4 counts. Circulating IL-7 levels were analyzed in 299 HIV-1–infected women and men. Regression analysis estimated that IL-7 levels were 40% higher in women than in men (P = 0.0032) after controlling for CD4 count, age, and race. Given the important role of IL-7 in T-cell development and homeostasis, these findings suggest that higher IL-7 levels may contribute to higher CD4 counts in women.
PMCID: PMC3119025  PMID: 16284535
interleukin-7; sexual dimorphism; CD4-positive T cells; cytokines; sex differences
16.  Predictors of reported influenza vaccination in HIV-infected women in the United States, 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons 
Preventive medicine  2010;50(5-6):223-229.
Objective
To estimate the cumulative incidence of self-reported influenza vaccination (“vaccination coverage”) and investigate predictors in HIV-infected women.
Methods
In an ongoing cohort study of HIV-infected women in five US cities, data from two influenza seasons (2006-07 n=1,209 and 2007-08 n=1,161) were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals ([,]) from Poisson regression with robust variance models using generalized estimating equations (GEE).
Results
In our study, 55% and 57% of HIV-infected women reported vaccination during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, respectively. Using data from both seasons, older age, non-smoking status, CD4 T-lymphocyte (CD4) count ≥200 cells/mm3, and reporting at least one recent healthcare visit was associated with increased vaccination coverage. In the 2007-08 season, a belief in the protection of the vaccine (aPR=1.38 [1.18, 1.61]) and influenza vaccination in the previous season (aPR=1.66 [1.44, 1.91]) most strongly predicted vaccination status.
Conclusion
Interventions to reach unvaccinated HIV-infected women should focus on changing beliefs about the effectiveness of influenza vaccination and target younger women, current smokers, those without recent healthcare visits, or a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3.
doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.03.007
PMCID: PMC2883293  PMID: 20303362
HIV/AIDS; highly active antiretroviral therapy; influenza vaccine; vaccine coverage; multi-center study; cohort study; United States; adult; female
17.  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
18.  Hepatitis C Seropositivity and Kidney Function Decline Among Women With HIV: Data From the Women's Interagency HIV Study 
Background
How co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) impacts on the trajectory of kidney function among HIV-infected patients is unclear. This study examined the effect of HCV on kidney function over time among women infected with HIV.
Study Design
Retrospective observational cohort
Setting and Participants
Study sample included participants from the Women's Interagency HIV Study who were HIV-infected and had received HCV antibody testing and serum creatinine measurement at baseline.
Predictor
HCV seropositivity
Outcomes and Measurement
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated from semi-annual serum creatinine measurements using the 4-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Diseases (MDRD) Study equation. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate the independent effect of being HCV seropositive on eGFR over time, adjusting for demographic factors, co-morbid conditions, illicit drug use, measures of HIV disease status, use of medications, and interactions with baseline low eGFR (<60 mL/min/1.73m2).
Results
Of the 2,684 HIV-infected women, 952 (35%) were found to be HCV seropositive. For 180 women with CKD at baseline (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m2), being HCV seropositive was independently associated with a fully-adjusted net decline in eGFR of about 5% per year (95% CI: 3.2 to 7.2%), relative to women who were seronegative. In contrast, HCV was not independently associated with decline in eGFR among women without low eGFR at baseline (p<0.001 for interaction).
Limitations
The MDRD Study equation has not been validated as a measure of GFR among persons with HIV or HCV. Proteinuria was not included in the study analysis. Because the study is observational, the effects of residual confounding cannot be excluded.
Conclusions
Among HIV-infected women with CKD, co-infection with HCV is associated with a modest, but statistically significant decline in eGFR over time. More careful monitoring of kidney function may be warranted for HIV-infected patients with CKD who are also co-infected with HCV.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.02.009
PMCID: PMC2997705  PMID: 19394735
hepatitis C virus; HIV; kidney diseases; women
19.  Experience of Pain among Women with Advanced HIV Disease 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2009;23(7):503-511.
Abstract
We evaluated pain frequency and severity in 339 women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Among these, 63% were 39 years of age or younger, 17% were white, 54% African American, and 29% Hispanic; 32% did not complete high school; 58% had a CD4 less than 200; 65% had clinical AIDS; 60% were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); and 32% had a viral load of 50,000 or more. Data were collected between 1996 and 1998. Within the past 6 months 190 (56%) women experienced pain 6 or more days and 168 (50%) women indicated pain severity scores of 4 or 5 (5-point scale). Pain frequency and pain severity were not associated with age, education, ethnicity, current therapy, or location of the WIHS site. Pain frequency and severity were related to lower CD4 count, higher depression, with a history and longer duration of smoking and use of marijuana. Severity was associated with a history of crack/cocaine or heroin use or with injection drug use as the transmission category. In the multivariate models, pain severity was related to CD4 count and depression and to current tobacco use but not to crack, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana use. Pain frequency was related to depression and to former tobacco, crack, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana use but not to current use. The long-term effects of tobacco use may be to increase pain experience but women may also smoke tobacco or use other substances to give mild pain relief. Pain is frequent and often severe among women with HIV requiring medical management.
doi:10.1089/apc.2008.0128
PMCID: PMC2792586  PMID: 19534600
20.  NNRTI pharmacokinetics in a large unselected cohort of HIV-infected women 
Background
Small intensive pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of medications in early-phase trials cannot identify the range of factors that influence drug exposure in heterogeneous populations. We performed PK studies in large numbers of HIV-infected women on nonnucleoside-reverse-transcriptase-inhibitors (NNRTIs) under conditions of actual use to assess patient characteristics that influence exposure and evaluated the relationship between exposure and response.
Methods
225 women on NNRTI-based antiretroviral regimens from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) were enrolled into 12 or 24-hour PK studies. Extensive demographic, laboratory and medication covariate data was collected before and during the visit to be used in multivariate models. Total NNRTI drug exposure was estimated by area-under-the-concentration-time curves (AUC).
Results
Hepatic inflammation and renal insufficiency were independently associated with increased nevirapine (NVP) exposure in multivariate analyses; crack cocaine, high fat diets, and amenorrhea were associated with decreased levels (n=106). Higher efavirenz (EFV) exposure was seen with increased transaminase, albumin levels, and orange juice consumption; tenofovir use, increased weight, being African-American and amenorrhea were associated with decreased exposure (n=119). With every 10-fold increase in NVP or EFV exposure, participants were 3.3 and 3.6 times as likely to exhibit virologic suppression, respectively. Patients with higher drug exposure were also more likely to report side effects on therapy.
Conclusions
Our study identifies and quantitates previously unrecognized factors modifying NNRTI exposure in the “real-world” setting. Comprehensive PK studies in representative populations are feasible and may ultimatley lead to dose optimization strategies in patients at risk for failure or adverse events.
PMCID: PMC2700138  PMID: 19408353
HIV; antiretrovirals; nevirapine; efavirenz; pharmacokinetics; drug exposure; women
21.  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
22.  Experience of Pain among Women with Advanced HIV Disease 
AIDS patient care and STDs  2009;23(7):503-511.
We evaluated pain frequency and severity in 339 women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Among these, 63% were 39 years of age or younger, 17% were white, 54% African American, and 29% Hispanic; 32% did not complete high school; 58% had a CD4 less than 200; 65% had clinical AIDS; 60% were on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); and 32% had a viral load of 50,000 or more. Data were collected between 1996 and 1998. Within the past 6 months 190 (56%) women experienced pain 6 or more days and 168 (50%) women indicated pain severity scores of 4 or 5 (5-point scale). Pain frequency and pain severity were not associated with age, education, ethnicity, current therapy, or location of the WIHS site. Pain frequency and severity were related to lower CD4 count, higher depression, with a history and longer duration of smoking and use of marijuana. Severity was associated with a history of crack/cocaine or heroin use or with injection drug use as the transmission category. In the multivariate models, pain severity was related to CD4 count and depression and to current tobacco use but not to crack, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana use. Pain frequency was related to depression and to former tobacco, crack, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana use but not to current use. The long-term effects of tobacco use may be to increase pain experience but women may also smoke tobacco or use other substances to give mild pain relief. Pain is frequent and often severe among women with HIV requiring medical management.
doi:10.1089/apc.2008.0128
PMCID: PMC2792586  PMID: 19534600
23.  Awareness of Hepatitis C Infection Among Women With and At Risk for HIV 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2007;22(12):1689-1694.
BACKGROUND
Treatment guidelines recommend all HIV/HCV-co-infected persons be considered for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, yet obstacles to testing and accessing treatment for HCV continue for women.
OBJECTIVE
To assess awareness of HCV, and describe diagnostic referrals and HCV treatment among women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
DESIGN
Prospective epidemiologic cohort.
PARTICIPANTS
Of 3,768 HIV-infected and uninfected women in WIHS, 1,166 (31%) were HCV antibody positive.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Awareness of HCV infection and probability of referrals for diagnostic evaluations and treatment using logistic regression. Follow-up HCV information was available for 681 (390 died, 15 withdrew, 80 missed visit) in 2004. Of these 681, 522 (76.7%) reported knowing their HCV diagnosis. Of these, 247 of 522 (47.3%) stated their providers recommended a liver biopsy, whereas 139 of 247 or 56.3% reported having a liver biopsy. A total of 170 of 522 (32.6%) reported being offered treatment and 74.1% (n = 126 of 170) reported receiving HCV treatment. In multivariate regression analyses, African-American race, Hispanic/Latina ethnicity, poverty, and current crack/cocaine/heroin use were negatively associated with treatment referrals, whereas elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was associated with increased likelihood of referral and increased likelihood of treatment.
CONCLUSION
One quarter of women with HCV in this cohort were not aware of their diagnosis. Among those aware of their HCV, 1 in 4 received liver biopsy and treatment for HCV. Both provider and patient education interventions regarding HCV testing and HCV treatment options and guidelines are needed to enhance HCV awareness and participation in HCV evaluation and treatment.
doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0395-x
PMCID: PMC2219830  PMID: 17924170
women; hepatitis C; HIV; race; drug use; therapy
24.  Association of self-reported race with AIDS death in continuous HAART users in a cohort of HIV-infected women in the United States 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(15):2413-2423.
Objective:
To assess the association of race with clinical outcomes in HIV-positive women on continuous HAART.
Design:
Prospective study that enrolled women from 1994 to 1995 and 2001 to 2002.
Setting:
Women's Interagency HIV Study, a community-based cohort in five US cities.
Participants:
One thousand, four hundred and seventy-one HIV-positive continuous HAART users.
Main outcome measures:
Times to AIDS and non-AIDS death and incident AIDS-defining illness (ADI) after HAART initiation.
Results:
In adjusted analyses, black vs. white women had higher rates of AIDS death [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 2.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.30, 3.50; P = 0.003] and incident ADI (aHR 1.58, 95% CI 1.08, 2.32; P = 0.02), but not non-AIDS death (aHR 0.91, 95% CI 0.59, 1.39; P = 0.65). Cumulative AIDS death incidence at 10 years was 17.3 and 8.3% for black and white women, respectively. Other significant independent pre-HAART predictors of AIDS death included peak viral load (aHR 1.70 per log10, 95% CI 1.34, 2.16; P < 0.001), nadir CD4+ cell count (aHR 0.65 per 100 cells/μl, 95% CI 0.56, 0.76; P < 0.001), depressive symptoms by Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression score at least 16 (aHR 2.10, 95% CI 1.51, 2.92; P < 0.001), hepatitis C virus infection (aHR 1.57, 95% CI 1.02, 2.40; P = 0.04), and HIV acquisition via transfusion (aHR 2.33, 95% CI 1.21, 4.49; P = 0.01). In models with time-updated HAART adherence, association of race with AIDS death remained statistically significant (aHR 3.09, 95% CI 1.38, 6.93; P = 0.006).
Conclusion:
In continuous HAART-using women, black women more rapidly died from AIDS or experienced incident ADI than their white counterparts after adjusting for confounders. Future studies examining behavioral and biologic factors in these women may further the understanding of HAART prognosis.
doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000432537.92958.73
PMCID: PMC3815041  PMID: 24037210
AIDS; HAART; HIV; race; survival; women

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