ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Vaginal microbiomes and the risks of HIV/STI
The day started with a presentation from Prof. Jeanne Marrozzo, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Key points -
* colonisation of a newborns gut is dependant on the type of birth
^ Caesarian births result in the newborns gut being colonised with skin flora eg staph aureus
^ Vaginal birth results in the newborns gut being colonised with healthy lactobacillus
^ With the high rates of Caesarian births in developed countries, the practice of introducing the mothers vaginal secretions into the mouth and nose of the caesarian born neonate may need to be seriously considered.
* Women with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) have a 60% higher risk contracting HIV through vaginal sex
* HIV neg men whose HIV+ female partner has BV are more likely to contract HIV
* one outcome of the VOICE study revealed that women using tenofovir vaginal gel who had a lactobacillus dominant vaginal biome had a lower risk of contracting HIV, compared to those with a lactobacillus non-dominant vaginal biome.
* maintenance of a healthy vaginal environment might reduce the risk of contracting STI/HIV, further research is required to establish how this is achieved, particularly to establish the pathogen that causes BV
The afternoon continued along the vaginal microbiome theme with several presentations:-
Dr Ricardo Diaz, University of San Paulo Brazil
* Gardnerella Vaginalis reduces the levels of TDF-DF in vaginal fluid
Olimade Jarrett MD
* The presence of P. amnii and S. sanguinegens in vaginal miceobiome was associated with a 3.5 to 4-fold increase in rates of Trichomonas vaginalis infection
Charlotte Van Der Meer
* The Dutch study on Effect of intra-vaginal douching on the vaginal mucosa suggests that use of intra-vaginal douching has no effect on vaginal microbiome, but may increase the risk of developing a candida infection.
Such an exciting area of research, where so much more knowledge is needed to reduce risks of acquiring HIV, STIs, and those pesky vaginal conditions.