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Menstruation and viral load
Aug 23, 2002

I happened to find an article on the relationship between viral load of women's genital fluid and menstruation cycle.According to it, viral load of cervical fluid reaches at the highest level 2 or 3 weeks after menses and at this point, viral load of cervical fluid is higher than blood plasma. Does it mean that women's genital fluid is more infectious than blood at that period?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

This is a very controversial area. It is clear that HIV can be detected (most studies by molecular means and not by culturing the virus) in vaginal cervical fluid at all stages of the menstrual cycle. Whether the infectivity is higher, say during menses because of blood mixing, or during the follicular or luteal stages is not clear.



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