April 17, 2014
This article was reported by Medical Xpress.
Medical Xpress reported on a study of HIV-positive women's response to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Dr. Erna Milunka Kojic, associate professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Miriam Hospital, and colleagues investigated the safety of and immune system response to the HPV vaccine in 315 HIV-positive women between the ages of 13 and 45 with varying immune levels at sites in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa.
The researchers grouped participants by CD4 cell count, an indicator of immune system health. Group A had a CD4 cell count of more than 350; Group B between 200-350; and Group C lower than 200. The participants received the vaccine Gardasil, which protects against four types of HPV -- HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18. The researchers measured each group for antibodies against the four HPV types and defined success as seroconversion in approximately 70 percent of participants for each type.
Results show that the vaccine built immunity to HPV antibodies in participants and there were no serious adverse events in the 28 weeks of the study, even though participants were in treatment for other conditions. Kojic noted that participants with the weakest immune systems experienced lower seroconversion rates, but those rates were high enough to be considered successful. Kojic hoped that the results would encourage more doctors to vaccinate HIV-positive patients.
The full report, "Immunogenicity and Safety of a Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in HIV-1-Infected Women," was published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (2014; doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu238).