Carolyn Wester, Research Associate
Immunology+Infectious Diseases Prime
Dates of Research:
June 1, 2005 — May 31, 2011
This study’s long-term goals are to conduct clinical trials related to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in the African context, particularly with respect to women’s health. Genital ulcer disease (GUD) plays an important role in fueling the HIV-1 epidemic. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is an increasingly important cause of GUD around the world and has been associated with increased HIV-1 genital tract shedding and increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition and transmission. It is not known whether HSV-2 influences HIV-1 genital tract shedding even in the context of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This information is needed to determine factors influencing HIV-1 infectiousness among women on HAART as well as to formulate recommendations regarding genital herpes suppression among co-infected individuals on HAART. This prospective observational cohort study will test the hypothesis that the effect of HAART on decreasing the presence and quantity of genital tract HIV-1 DNA is reduced by the presence of HSV-2 disease and/or genital tract shedding.