What's Sex Got to Do With It? Understanding Potential Confounding and Exposure Misclassification in Mechanistic Sexually Transmitted Infection Research

J Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 2;224(1):137-140. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa705.


We conducted a prospective study of 13 heterosexual couples to understand the impact of recent condomless vaginal sex on vaginal immune marker measurement and potential exposure misclassification due to the presence of semen. All immune markers were detectable in semen and concentrations of vaginal immune markers varied by sex recency.

Keywords: HIV; cytokine; prostate-specific antigen; sexually transmitted infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Semen / immunology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / immunology*
  • Vagina / immunology


  • Biomarkers