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AIDS:
doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328344ccf8
Correspondence

Genital tract HIV-1 RNA shedding among women with below detectable plasma viral load

Cu-Uvin, Susana; Caliendo, Angela Mb

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aDivision of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

bDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory, Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Center for AIDS Research, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Received 23 December, 2010

Accepted 19 January, 2011

Correspondence to Susan Cu-Uvin, MD, Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906, USA. Tel: +1 401 793 4775; fax: +1 401 793 4779; e-mail: scu-uvin@lifespan.org

We thank Dr Chaudry for her comment on our article regarding the possibility that the HIV RNA from the genital tract sample may result from cell-associated RNA and not purely from cell free RNA [1].

The author is correct that the assay we used will amplify both cell-free and cell-associated RNA but not proviral DNA. The use of the Sno-Strip filter paper, in comparison to other methods such as cervicovaginal lavage, endocervical cytobrush, endocervical swab, or aspiration, is thought to absorb undiluted genital secretion (approximately 7 ul each) while minimizing the inclusion of cellular material. However, there may be few cells that can adhere to the Sno-Strip filter paper. In the future, it would be interesting to assess the contribution of cell-associated versus cell-free RNA from each Sno-Strip.

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Reference

1. Cu-Uvin S, Delong AK, Vankatesh K, Hogan JW, Ingersoll J, Caliendo AM, et al. Genital tract HIV-1 RNA shedding among women with below detectable plasma viral load. AIDS 2010; 24:2489–2497.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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