Human immunodeficiency virus 1 expression in the female genital tract in association with cervical inflammation and ulceration


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Abstract

ObjectivesDetermining the source of human immunodeficiency virus 1 in the female genital tract and identifying factors that influence the amount of virus shed are important in the understanding of heterosexual human immunodeficiency virus 1 transmission.Study DesignCervicovaginal human immunodeficiency virus 1 ribonucleic acid shedding was quantified before and after treatment of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions in 14 women. Genotypic analysis was performed on peptide HIV-1 env gp120 of the major human immunodeficiency virus 1 species in plasma and cervicovaginal lavage of selected samples.ResultsAt 2 to 4 weeks after treatment, when cervices were inflamed and ulcerated, human immunodeficiency virus 1 ribonucleic acid in lavage samples increased 1.0 to 4.4 log 10. Genotypic analysis showed significant differences between the predominant human immunodeficiency virus 1 species in paired plasma and lavage samples from 2 of 4 women, suggesting that the increase in human immunodeficiency virus 1 was the result of local viral replication.ConclusionsCervical inflammation and ulceration are associated with local human immunodeficiency virus 1 expression, which increases as much as 10,000-fold the amount of human immunodeficiency virus 1 shed into genital secretions. This may explain why sexually transmitted diseases are important risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus transmission. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184:279-85.)

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