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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


CAMPOS, Angela et al. HIV vaginal viral load in Brazilian HIV-infected women. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2008, vol.54, n.1, pp.67-71. ISSN 1806-9282.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate factors associated to presence of free RNA-HIV in the vagina. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with HIV-infected women, excluding those who had undergone histerectomy, had used vaginal medication within the last 48 hours, had had unprotected sex less than 72 hours before, were pregnant, or had genital bleeding. After signing an informed consent, blood samples were obtained for T CD4 lymphocytes count and plasmatic viral load, in addition to cervico-vaginal lavage using 10mL of sterile normal saline, later centrifuged, aliquoted and stored at - 70°C to quantify free HIV-RNA. Plasmatic and vaginal viral load were measured using the kit HIV Monitor v1.5 Cobas Amplicor, Roche. Hybrid Capture test Digene was utilized for HPV (high and low risk), clamydia trachomatis and N. gonorrhoae detection from an endocervical sample. Vaginal swab for bacterioscopy by the Gram method, evaluated according to Nugent criteria was obtained. RESULTS: Among 200 women evaluated, 73.5% were using HAART. The RNA-HIV was detectable in the vaginal lavage of 18 (9%), but in only one of those who had undetectable plasma viral load (0.5%). The vaginal prevalence of HIV was 24 times higher among those with detectable plasmatic HIV. Plasma viral load > 1500 copies/mL, no HAART use, reduced CD4 and bacterial vaginosis had increased prevalence of vaginal HIV-RNA, but in the adjusted statistical analysis, only the former remained significant CONCLUSION: Prevalence of vaginal HIV-RNA was low (9%). Plasmatic viral load > 1500 copies/mL, was the only risk factor for free vaginal HIV-RNA.

Keywords : HIV; Vagina; Viral load; Horizontal disease transmission; Heterosexuality; prevalence.

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