Cisgender Women’s Rectal Tissue May Be More Vulnerable to HIV Than Men’s

Cisgender Women’s Rectal Tissue May Be More Vulnerable to HIV Than Men’s

Finally, they introduced a strain of HIV to the tissue samples to see how readily the virus could infect the cells. What’s more, cervical drug tissue concentrations—that is, drug concentrations in the vagina—dropped below measurable levels in 43% to 91% of the samples. Indeed, detectable drug levels in colorectal tissue for women didn’t translate to vaginal protection; maraviroc vaginal concentrations were 12 times lower than rectal concentrations, emtricitabine levels were three times lower in vaginal tissue compared with rectal tissue and tenofovir levels were a full 276 times lower in vaginal tissue versus rectal tissue. In colorectal tissue, tenofovir was 12 times more concentrated in women’s colorectal tissue samples versus men’s, but emtracitabine was twice as concentrated in the rectal tissue of MSM than that of women. Still, the finding perplexed the researchers, who wrote that the differences in drug tissue concentrations weren’t big enough to explain the difference in HIV infectivity.

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