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The Association of Sexual Behavior with Systemic Inflammation and Increased HIV-1 Susceptibility in MSM

Abror, Grace N. (2022) The Association of Sexual Behavior with Systemic Inflammation and Increased HIV-1 Susceptibility in MSM. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: HIV/AIDS has disproportionately affected MSM since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Sexual behaviors, such as receptive anal intercourse, are thought to be a major contributor to this increased risk for HIV-1 acquisition among MSM. Although it has been found that inflammation in the rectal mucosa plays a significant role in this relationship, little has been discovered about the role systemic inflammation may play. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate which sexual behavior is most significantly associated with HIV-1 seroconversion in a group of MSM from the Multicenter Aids Cohort Study (MACS) and whether that sexual behavior is associated with systemic inflammation.
Methods: In this study, we analyze 1984/1985 sexual activity data, CD4+/CD8+ ratio data and plasma inflammatory cytokine data obtained from 109 HIV-1 seroconverters (SC) and 156 HIV-1 negative controls (NC) from the MACS, prior to and post- HIV-1 seroconversion.
Results: Receptive anal intercourse was found to be the sexual behavior most significantly associated with HIV-1 seroconversion, prior to and post-HIV seroconversion. Overall, no significant association was found between receptive anal intercourse and systemic inflammation. However, prior to HIV-1 seroconversion, IP10 (p = <0.01) , sCD163 (p = 0.50), and CRP (p = 0.40) levels had a tendency to increase with increasing numbers of receptive anal intercourse partners.
Conclusion: The results of this study provide evidence to support that receptive anal intercourse is the sexual behavior most significantly associated with HIV-1 seroconversion in MSM. In addition, when evaluating the association between number of receptive anal intercourse and plasma inflammatory response markers prior to and post- HIV-1 seroconversion, it was found that, overall, there was no significant association.
Public Health Significance: In order to discover novel treatments for HIV, it is necessary to explore factors which may increase MSMs susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and characterize the pathway by which they do so.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abror, Grace N.Gra15@pitt.eduGra15
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairChen, YueCHENY@pitt.educheny
Committee MemberKrier, SarahSEK29@pitt.edusek29
Committee MemberRinaldo, Charles R.RINALDO@pitt.edurinaldo
Date: 4 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 December 2021
Approval Date: 4 January 2022
Submission Date: 16 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 37
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV Behavior MSM Inflammation
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 15:44
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2022 15:44


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