Targeting the Genital Microbiota to Reduce Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission Among African, Caribbean, and other Black Women
2019 - 2020
High diversity of bacterial species in the vaginal microbiome may lead to a condition known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). Although BV is often asymptomatic, it has been linked to increased HIV susceptibility, and unfortunately is more common in ACB women. Antibiotic treatment of BV can reverse these changes in the short term, but BV usually recurs within a few months. In addition, my supervisor's research group has found that antibiotic treatment actually increased some immune indicators of HIV risk.
Purpose and Objectives:
The proposed research aims to test novel microbiome-focused clinical strategies, both antibiotic and probiotic-based, to reduce HIV susceptibility among ACB women. I hypothesize that standard antibiotic treatment for BV will increase certain immune indicators of HIV susceptibility and recruit HIV target cells to the vaginal lining, but that addition of a novel probiotic will restore the vaginal microbiome to a state that is protective against HIV. The elevated HIV risk faced by ACB women emphasizes the urgent need for better clinical strategies to reduce HIV susceptibility among this population. We hope that the results of this proposed research can inform future clinical strategies to reduce HIV susceptibility among women and the ACB community.
Start and End Date:
2020 - 2020
Project Indicators and Outcomes: