Antiretroviral adherence and development of drug resistance are the strongest predictors of genital HIV-1 shedding among women initiating treatment.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of infectious diseases, Volume 202, Issue 10, p.1538-42 (2010)


2010, Adult, Anti-HIV Agents, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Center-Authored Paper, Cervix Uteri, Disease Transmission, Infectious, Drug Resistance, Multiple, Viral, Female, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Human Biology Division, Humans, KENYA, Lamivudine, Nevirapine, Patient Compliance, Risk Factors, RNA, Viral, Stavudine, Vagina, Virus Shedding


Persistent genital human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) shedding among women receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) may present a transmission risk. We investigated the associations between genital HIV-1 suppression after ART initiation and adherence, resistance, pretreatment CD4 cell count, and hormonal contraceptive use. First-line ART was initiated in 102 women. Plasma and genital HIV-1 RNA levels were measured at months 0, 3, and 6. Adherence was a strong and consistent predictor of genital HIV-1 suppression (P < .001), whereas genotypic resistance was associated with higher vaginal HIV-1 RNA level at month 6 (P = .04). These results emphasize the importance of adherence to optimize the potential benefits of ART for reducing HIV-1 transmission risk.