Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Impact of Chronic Sexual Abuse and HIV on Genital Tract Biomarker Expression in Women

Poster Number

56

Document Type

Poster

Status

Staff

Abstract Category

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Keywords

women's health, sexual violence, HIV, mucosal immunity

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Background: Sexual violence is associated with increased risk for HIV acquisition/transmission in women. Chronic exposure to sexual violence can result in genital tract trauma and psychosocial stress subsequently affecting immune functions. We hypothesized that women with chronic sexual abuse and depression would have dysregulated genital tract immune mediators that can affect HIV risk.

Methods: Using the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) repository, we identified 4 groups of HIV+ and HIV- women (8-10/group) representing chronic sexual abuse exposure and depression (CES-D score > 16): 1) no history of sexual abuse at baseline or depression (Control); 2) no history of sexual abuse at baseline but current depression (Depression); 3) chronic sexual abuse but no depression (Abuse); 4) chronic sexual abuse with current depression (Abuse+Depression). Cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1α, IL-1β, TNF-α, TGF-β), chemokines (MIP-3α, IP-10, MCP-1) and antimicrobials (Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), Elafin, and Human beta defensin 2 (HBD-2)) were analyzed in cervical vaginal lavage (CVL) samples using ELISA. Linear regression was used to model levels of biomarkers with both depression and abuse as predictors. Models were run separately for HIV+ and HIV- women, with CD4 counts and viral load as covariates for HIV+ group.

Results: In HIV- women reporting Abuse+Depression we found significantly higher levels of IP-10 compared to Control and Depression groups. Abuse+Depression group also had significantly higher levels of IL-1α but significantly lower levels of TGF-β, compared to Depression group. In HIV+ women, significantly lower levels of MIP-3α were found in the Abuse+Depression group compared to Controls whereas MCP-1 levels were highest in the Abuse group. When comparing by HIV status, HIV+ women reporting depression had significantly higher levels of IP-10 compared to HIV- women reporting depression. MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in HIV+ Abuse group compared to HIV- Abuse group. However, for MIP-3α, levels were significantly lower in HIV+ Abuse+Depression compared to HIV- Abuse+Depression. In HIV- women, there was evidence of an interaction between abuse and depression for IL-1a and IP-10.

Conclusions: Our data suggests genital immune biomarkers are affected by chronic sexual abuse and HIV status. Further studies are needed to understand biological mechanisms of HIV acquisition/transmission in these women.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Comments

To be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Impact of Chronic Sexual Abuse and HIV on Genital Tract Biomarker Expression in Women

Background: Sexual violence is associated with increased risk for HIV acquisition/transmission in women. Chronic exposure to sexual violence can result in genital tract trauma and psychosocial stress subsequently affecting immune functions. We hypothesized that women with chronic sexual abuse and depression would have dysregulated genital tract immune mediators that can affect HIV risk.

Methods: Using the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) repository, we identified 4 groups of HIV+ and HIV- women (8-10/group) representing chronic sexual abuse exposure and depression (CES-D score > 16): 1) no history of sexual abuse at baseline or depression (Control); 2) no history of sexual abuse at baseline but current depression (Depression); 3) chronic sexual abuse but no depression (Abuse); 4) chronic sexual abuse with current depression (Abuse+Depression). Cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1α, IL-1β, TNF-α, TGF-β), chemokines (MIP-3α, IP-10, MCP-1) and antimicrobials (Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), Elafin, and Human beta defensin 2 (HBD-2)) were analyzed in cervical vaginal lavage (CVL) samples using ELISA. Linear regression was used to model levels of biomarkers with both depression and abuse as predictors. Models were run separately for HIV+ and HIV- women, with CD4 counts and viral load as covariates for HIV+ group.

Results: In HIV- women reporting Abuse+Depression we found significantly higher levels of IP-10 compared to Control and Depression groups. Abuse+Depression group also had significantly higher levels of IL-1α but significantly lower levels of TGF-β, compared to Depression group. In HIV+ women, significantly lower levels of MIP-3α were found in the Abuse+Depression group compared to Controls whereas MCP-1 levels were highest in the Abuse group. When comparing by HIV status, HIV+ women reporting depression had significantly higher levels of IP-10 compared to HIV- women reporting depression. MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in HIV+ Abuse group compared to HIV- Abuse group. However, for MIP-3α, levels were significantly lower in HIV+ Abuse+Depression compared to HIV- Abuse+Depression. In HIV- women, there was evidence of an interaction between abuse and depression for IL-1a and IP-10.

Conclusions: Our data suggests genital immune biomarkers are affected by chronic sexual abuse and HIV status. Further studies are needed to understand biological mechanisms of HIV acquisition/transmission in these women.