Background: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) has been linked to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquisition.
Methods: Vaginal microbiota of women using DMPA for up to 2 years were cultured. Mucosal immune cell populations were measured by immunohistological staining.
Results: Over 12 months, the proportion with H2O2-positive lactobacilli decreased (n = 32; 53% vs 27%; P = .03). Median vaginal CD3(+) cells also decreased (n = 15; 355 vs 237 cells/mm(2); P = .03), as did CD3(+)CCR5(+) cells (195 vs 128 cells/mm(2); P = .04), HLA-DR(+) cells (130 vs 96 cells/mm(2); P = .27), and HLA-DR(+)CCR5(+) cells (18 vs 10 cells/mm(2); P = .33).
Conclusions: DMPA contraception does not increase vaginal mucosal CCR5(+) HIV target cells but does decrease CD3(+) T lymphocytes and vaginal H2O2-producing lactobacilli.
Keywords: HIV; medroxyprogesterone acetate; vaginal mucosa.
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