Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of HIV-1 RNA and DNA loads in blood and the female genital tract

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2004 Dec 1;117(2):227-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2004.05.016.


Objective: To examine if correlates of HIV-1 genital shedding in cross-sectional studies can be used to determine the risk of shedding in individual HIV-1-positive women.

Study design: Longitudinal samples from blood and cervix were obtained from 18 HIV-1 infected women, and HIV-1 RNA and cell-associated DNA virus, and beta-chemokine levels, were measured. Associations between variables were analyzed at both individual and group level.

Results: The variation over time was 2.9-, 2.1-, and 2.3-fold in plasma RNA, PBMC DNA and cervical RNA load, respectively, and reached 6.2-fold in cervical DNA load. Differences were observed between associations in individual- and group-level comparisons, suggesting that a separate reservoir of HIV replication may exist in the genital tract of some women, which is influenced by local environmental factors.

Conclusions: Our study underscores the importance of caution during contact with genital fluids at all stages of infection and disease regardless of treatment and HIV-1 blood loads.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemokines, CC / analysis
  • Chemokines, CC / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / virology*
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Viral Load / methods*


  • Chemokines, CC
  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral