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(1/3874) A review of statistical methods for estimating the risk of vertical human immunodeficiency virus transmission.

BACKGROUND: Estimation of the risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been complicated by the lack of a reliable diagnostic test for paediatric HIV infection. METHODS: A literature search was conducted to identify all statistical methods that have been used to estimate HIV vertical transmission risk. Although the focus of this article is the analysis of birth cohort studies, ad hoc studies are also reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: The standard method for estimating HIV vertical transmission risk is biased and inefficient. Various alternative analytical approaches have been proposed but all involve simplifying assumptions and some are difficult to implement. However, early diagnosis/exclusion of infection is now possible because of improvements in polymerase chain reaction technology and complex estimation methods should no longer be required. The best way to analyse studies conducted in breastfeeding populations is still unclear and deserves attention in view of the many intervention studies being planned or conducted in developing countries.  (+info)

(2/3874) Demographic, clinical and social factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted diseases in a cohort of women from the United Kingdom and Ireland. MRC Collaborative Study of women with HIV.

BACKGROUND: Clinical experience suggests many women with HIV infection have experienced no other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Our objective was to test the hypothesis that a substantial proportion of women with HIV infection in the United Kingdom and Ireland have experienced no other diagnosed STD and to describe the demographic, clinical and social factors associated with the occurrence of other STD in a cohort of HIV infected women. METHOD: Analysis of cross-sectional baseline data from a prospective study of 505 women with diagnosed HIV infection. The setting was 15 HIV treatment centres in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The main outcome measures were occurrence of other STD diagnosed for the first time before and after HIV diagnosis. Data were obtained from interview with women and clinic notes. We particularly focused on occurrence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis after HIV diagnosis, as these are the STD most likely to reflect recent unprotected sexual intercourse. RESULTS: The women were mainly infected via heterosexual sex (n = 304), and injection drug use (n = 174). 151 were black Africans. A total of 250 (49.5%) women reported never having been diagnosed with an STD apart from HIV, 255 (50.5%) women had ever experienced an STD besides HIV, including 109 (21.6%) who had their first other STD diagnosed after HIV. Twenty-five (5%) women reported having had chlamydia, gonorrhoea or trichomoniasis diagnosed for the first time after HIV diagnosis, possibly reflecting unprotected sexual intercourse since HIV diagnosis. In all 301 (60%) women reported having had sex with a man in the 6 months prior to entry to the study. Of these, 168 (58%) reported using condoms 'always', 66(23%) 'sometimes' and 56 (19%) 'never'. CONCLUSIONS: Half the women in this study reported having never experienced any other diagnosed STD besides HIV. However, after HIV diagnosis most women remain sexually active and at least 5% had an STD diagnosed which reflect unprotected sexual intercourse.  (+info)

(3/3874) Cervicovaginal human papillomavirus infection in human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV)-positive and high-risk HIV-negative women.

BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with precancerous cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions commonly seen among women infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV). We characterized HPV infection in a large cohort of HIV-positive and HIV-negative women participating in the Women's Interagency HIV Study to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for cervicovaginal HPV infection in HIV-positive women. METHODS: HIV-positive (n = 1778) and HIV-negative (n = 500) women were tested at enrollment for the presence of HPV DNA in a cervicovaginal lavage specimen. Blood samples were tested for HIV antibody status, level of CD4-positive T cells, and HIV RNA load (copies/mL). An interview detailing risk factors was conducted. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: Compared with HIV-negative women, HIV-positive women with a CD4+ cell count of less than 200/mm3 were at the highest risk of HPV infection, regardless of HIV RNA load (odds ratio [OR] = 10.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.32-14.04), followed by women with a CD4+ count greater than 200/mm3 and an HIV RNA load greater than 20,000 copies/mL (OR = 5.78; 95% CI = 4.17-8.08) and women with a CD4+ count greater than 200/mm3 and an HIV RNA load less than 20,000 copies/mL (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 2.36-4.12), after adjustment for other factors. Other risk factors among HIV-positive women included racial/ethnic background (African-American versus Caucasian, OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.19-2.28), current smoking (yes versus no; OR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.20-1.99), and younger age (age < 30 years versus > or = 40 years; OR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.23-2.49). CONCLUSIONS: Although the strongest risk factors of HPV infection among HIV-positive women were indicators of more advanced HIV-related disease, other factors commonly found in studies of HIV-negative women, including racial/ethnic background, current smoking, and age, were important in HIV-positive women as well.  (+info)

(4/3874) T cell-tropic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and simian-human immunodeficiency viruses are readily transmitted by vaginal inoculation of rhesus macaques, and Langerhans' cells of the female genital tract are infected with SIV.

Intravaginal inoculation with T cell-tropic molecular clones of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) or some dual-tropic strains of SIV or SHIV produced systemic infection in rhesus macaques. Vaginal inoculation with other dual-tropic molecular clones of SIV or SHIV did not infect rhesus macaques even after multiple inoculations. While in vitro measures of macrophage tropism do not predict which primate lentiviruses will produce systemic infection after intravaginal inoculation, the level to which a virus replicates in vivo after intravenous inoculation does predict the outcome of intravaginal inoculation. Another series of studies, using combined in situ hybridization and immunolabeling to simultaneously detect SIV RNA and identify the immunophenotype of infected cells, demonstrated that a large proportion (approximately 40% in some animals) of the SIV-infected cells in the vagina and cervix were Langerhans' cells. This is the first in vivo demonstration that Langerhans' cells in the genital tract are infected with SIV and that dendritic cells are significant reservoirs for lentiviruses.  (+info)

(5/3874) Does HIV cause depletion of CD4+ T cells in vivo by the induction of apoptosis?

The central pathogenic feature of AIDS is the dramatic loss of CD4+ lymphocytes. Despite more than a decade of intense research, the exact mechanism by which HIV causes this is still not understood. A major model for T cell depletion, proposed originally by Ameison and Capron in a report published in 1991, is that HIV sensitizes CD4+ T cells for activation-induced apoptosis. The apoptotic model of T cell depletion is discussed, and experiments that address the questions of whether apoptosis is restricted to infected cells or 'bystander' T cells, and whether T cell apoptosis requires participation of separate HIV-infected haematopoietic cell populations, are reviewed.  (+info)

(6/3874) Effect of a single bout of acute exercise on plasma human immunodeficiency virus RNA levels.

Acute exercise is known to activate the immune system and thus could lead to increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication. We sought to determine whether a single acute bout of exercise, similar to what people experience when starting an intensive exercise program, has a detrimental effect on plasma HIV RNA levels. Twenty-five patients with HIV infection performed one 15-min bout of acute exercise. Absolute neutrophil counts, serum creatine phosphokinase, and 72-h urinary 3-methylhistidine (a marker of muscle protein breakdown) were measured before and after the exercise, along with plasma HIV RNA levels. There were increases in neutrophil counts (P < 0.06), serum creatine phosphokinase (P < 0. 01), and urinary 3-methylhistidine (P < 0.01) in response to exercise, indicating a mild acute-phase response with muscle proteolysis. However, mean HIV RNA, which was elevated at baseline in 22 of the 25 subjects (mean of 4 x 10(5) +/- 0.7 x 10(5) copies/ml), did not increase during the week after exercise (P = 0. 12). Small changes in RNA were seen in the three subjects with initially undetectable HIV RNA, but the significance of these changes is unclear. Acute exercise does not have a deleterious effect on HIV replication in adults with high viral loads. Because regular exercise training has not been shown to activate the acute-phase response, the lack of increased viral loads in response to an acute exercise intervention suggests that exercise training is safe in people with HIV infection.  (+info)

(7/3874) Temporal coordination between initiation of HIV (+)-strand DNA synthesis and primer removal.

In this study, we have analyzed the interdependence between the polymerase and RNase H active sites of human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) using an in vitro system that closely mimics the initiation of (+)-strand DNA synthesis. Time course experiments show that RT pauses after addition of the 12th DNA residue, and at this stage the RNase H activity starts to cleave the RNA primer from newly synthesized DNA. Comparison of cleavage profiles obtained with 3'- and 5'-end-labeled primer strands indicates that RT now translocates in the opposite direction, i.e. in the 5' direction of the RNA strand. DNA synthesis resumes again in the 3' direction, after the RNA-DNA junction was efficiently cleaved. Moreover, we further characterized complexes generated before, during, and after position +12, by treating these with Fe2+ to localize the RNase H active site on the DNA template. Initially, when RT binds the RNA/DNA substrate, oxidative strand breaks were seen at a distance of 18 base pairs upstream from the primer terminus, whereas 17 base pairs were observed at later stages when the enzyme binds more and more DNA/DNA. These data show that the initiation of (+)-strand synthesis is accompanied by a conformational change of the polymerase-competent complex.  (+info)

(8/3874) HIV: The deadly passenger in dendritic cells.

A picture is emerging of how HIV subverts a normal immunological surveillance mechanism to establish primary infection. This involves the infection of dendritic cells at mucosal surfaces: as these cells then mature, they transport the virus to lymphoid tissue, where viral replication begins and infection of CD4(+) T cells occurs.  (+info)