Bacterial Vaginosis: The "Perfect" Home For An HIV Virus?
Balance of Vaginal Flora Could Be Key Factor In Transmission
To succeed in the ongoing battle against AIDS, it's vital to understand how the enemy operates. In their effort to find new clues to slow the spread of the virus, researchers are discovering that the status of the vaginal flora in women may play a pivotal role in the rate of HIV transmission and infection.
Increasingly, AIDS is a disease that devastates women. Thirteen million women are infected with the HIV virus worldwide, with three out of every four women having contracted the virus through heterosexual relationships. In the
, new AIDS
diagnoses are growing fastest among the female population. U.S.
Scientists are finding that the status of vaginal flora may significantly affect both the amount and the survival of HIV virus inside the female genital tract. Dr. Arsenio Spinillo and his colleagues from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Infectious Disease, and Microbiology at the
of Pavia in recently reported that an
abnormal vaginal flora - i.e., infection with candida or bacterial vaginosis -
corresponded with increased amounts of HIV virus in the cervico-vaginal
secretions of women who were HIV-positive. Italy
How could bacterial imbalance in the vagina cause more HIV virus in the genital tract? The researchers speculated that disruption of the normal vaginal flora could result in a shortage of "friendly" lactobacilli in the vagina. This would reduce their secretion of hydrogen peroxide, a toxic-killing agent that may shorten the "life span" of the HIV virus in the genital tract.
In addition, some strains of "bad" bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis could also independently accelerate HIV replication on their own. Recently, Brazilian researchers found that certain types of Gardnerella vaginalis, one of the main microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis, could increase the expression of the HIV virus in experimental cell lines by as much as 20-fold.
This evidence may help explain why the HIV infection rate among women with bacterial vaginosis is twice as high as it is in those with healthy vaginal flora. Understanding these dynamics can help shape "preventative strategies aimed at reducing both heterosexual and the mother-to-child transmission of HIV," the researchers observed.
NOTE: One of the most comprehensive evaluations available, the Vaginosis Profile is a key clinical tool for safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health of women. Microscopic examination of vaginal fluid, DNA probe analysis, and cultures for bacteria and yeast demonstrate the presence of possible pathogens, such as Gardnerella, and Trichomonas, as well as the concentration of Lactobacillus.
The long used defenses for the female tract include using lactobacillus supplement combinations both orally and vaginally. These products are easy to obtain and use. Go to Dr. Doreo’s website with Metagenics at drdoreo.metagenics.com . You will find many products and information regarding the immune system and intestinal flora. The strength of your immune system is enhanced by the availability in the body of building block called vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Creating a healthier environment is easiest before illness strikes. Several products are available and a simple nutritional evaluation and consultation can put you in better control of the body’s response to any foreign invader.
Targeted Support for Feminine Health* Form: Capsules
Size: 30 Capsules
UltraFlora® Women’s is a unique blend of probiotics taken orally to help maintain a healthy vaginal microflora and support urogenital health. The safety and efficacy of this probiotic combination for women’s health is supported by laboratory research and clinical evaluation.*
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Please remember that this information does not substitute for actual appointments with your doctor that include proper physical evaluation before treatment.
Please call the office if you have questions related to your health.Sources:
Spinillo A, Debiaggi M, Zara F, Maserati R, Polatti F, De Santolo A. Factors associated with nucleic acids related to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in cervico-vaginal secretions. BJOG 2001;108:634-641.
Simoes JA, Hashemi FB, Aroutcheva AA, Heimler I, Spear GT, Shott S, Faro S. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 stimulatory activity by Gardnerella vaginalis: relationship to biotypes and other pathogenic characteristics. J Infect Dis 2001;184(1):22-7.Sept 2001