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Author Topic: HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study  (Read 3206 times)

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Offline emeraldize

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HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study
« on: December 19, 2008, 02:32:26 PM »
Hi All:
I didn't have access to a link for this, but it's so important I opted to copy/paste.
Important news to share with any women, particularly negative, whom you know.

HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study
Wed Dec 17 17:27:14 UTC 2008
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Instead of infiltrating breaks in the skin, HIV appears to attack normal, healthy genital tissue, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday in a study that offers new insight into how the AIDS virus spreads.
They said researchers had assumed the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, sought out breaks in the skin, such as a herpes sore, in order to gain access to immune system cells deeper in the tissue.
Some had even thought the normal lining of the vaginal tract offered a barrier to invasion by the virus during sexual intercourse.
"Normal skin is vulnerable," said Thomas Hope of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine said in a telephone interview.
"It was previously thought there had to be a break in it somehow," said Hope, who is presenting his findings at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in San Francisco.
He said until now, scientists had little understanding of the details of how HIV is transmitted sexually in women.
Hope and colleagues at Northwestern in Chicago and Tulane University in New Orleans developed a new method for seeing the virus at work. They studied newly removed vaginal tissue taken from hysterectomy surgeries, and introduced the virus which carried fluorescent, light-activated tracers.
Then they watched under a microscope as the virus penetrated the outer lining of the female genital tract, called the squamous epithelium. They also observed this same process in non-human primates.
In both cases, they found HIV was able to quickly move past the genital skin barrier to reach immune cells, which the virus targets.
Hope said the study suggests the virus takes aim at places in the skin that had recently shed skin cells, in much the same way that skin on the body flakes off.
The finding casts doubt on the prior theory of the virus requiring a break in the skin or gained access through a single layer of skin cells that line the cervical canal.
And it might explain why some prevention efforts have failed. Hope said one clinical trial in Africa in which women used a diaphragm to block the cervix had no effect at reducing transmission of the virus. Nor have studies of drugs designed to prevent lesions in genital herpes proven effective.
Hope said the findings emphasize the need for treatments such as a vaccine to prevent infection.
And it makes clear the need for the use of condoms, which are highly effective at preventing infection.
"People need to remember that they are vulnerable," Hope said. "The sad part is if people just used a condom, we wouldn't have this problem," he said.
In the United States, HIV is mostly passed among men who have sex with men. Females account for 26 percent of all new HIV cases in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Globally, HIV is more commonly spread by heterosexual sex. The virus has infected 33 million people globally and has killed 25 million.
(Editing by Will Dunham)


  • Guest
Re: HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 03:27:21 PM »
I have been being told this for as long as I have been positive.  I can not beleive how behind some researchers are. 
True I don't know everything, but my husband and nephews and nieces and sister remember me telling them this.  Before I wrote this reply I read the post to them.  Now I did not give the site or who wrote this, but they agree this sounds exactly like what I have been trying to tell them, and is the exact information I gave them in a doctor's pamphlet.
The funny part is my sister won't have sex until she is married.  And even then she is decided on testing monthly. 
Everyone in my family knew and excepted the fellow who infected me.  So obvoiusly they have fears of their own, and this is one garauntee they will continue to be careful!
Thanks for writing this.

Offline BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 10,785
Re: HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2008, 06:10:33 PM »
The funny part is my sister won't have sex until she is married.  And even then she is decided on testing monthly. 
Thanks for writing this.

Testing monthly?  That seems a bit extreme and paranoid, doncha think?
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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