Friday , May 20 2022

Aspirin can help reduce HIV infection in women


With almost two million new infections and one million deaths each year, HIV (a pandemic of human immunodeficiency virus) is alive and good. Thirty-seven million people now live with HIV, more than half of whom are women.

Today, most of the transmission of HIV comes through sex. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and others by keeping HIV (abstinence, condoms, circumcision) or inactivating HIV (microbicycle gels or a combination of prophylactic anti-HIV drugs such as PrEP). However, these methods are not always feasible for many and can come with a stigma.

Imagine, however, if instead of targeting the virus, they could make people less vulnerable to HIV and resolve the needs of communities using a relatively safe, affordable and deeply accessible doctors without a related stigma. Aspirin comes here.

It may sound like a fairy tale, but the results of a laboratory pilot study published last month suggest that this is true. Plus, there's a good science behind the explanation.

Aspirin reduces the HIV & apos; target cell & apos;

The idea stems from a partnership with the women's community in Nairobi, Kenya for more than 30 years. This relationship has led to the establishment of a clinic that provides nearly 50,000 sex workers with disease prevention and treatment, and are often referred to by the WHO and UNAIDS as a model of best practice.

Exceptionally, many of these women are naturally resistant to HIV, at least partly because they have very little inflammation in the blood and genital tract. This is important because inflammation can increase HIV infection by 1) the recruitment of immune cells to the site of inflammation, including cells that HIV loves to infect – the so-called HIV target cells, and 2) the activation of these HIV-targeted cells, which increases their susceptibility to viral infection and increases the ability of HIV to replicate within them.

The most important issue of our study was this: as an anti-inflammatory drug, can Aspirin reduce the number of HIV targeting cells and make them less activated?

The peer leader talks to the community of a sex worker at the Baraza annual meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
(Julie Lajoie), The author is provided

To answer this question, our laboratory quantified HIV target cells in the blood and vagina of 37 Kenyan women before and after taking Aspirin for up to six weeks.

Results published in Journal of the International Society for AIDS, indicate that aspirin reduced the incidence of HIV vaginal cells by about 35 percent i made them less activated.

As a bonus, Aspirin seems to increase the structural integrity of the skin in the vagina, which could also prevent HIV infection by further limiting the access of HIV to more cells in the blood.

We also tried another anti-inflammatory drug called hydroxychloroquine (HCK). HCK is less known than Aspirin, but has been a popular malaria treatment and is now used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. HCK also seemed to reduce inflammation in the vagina, but in a slightly different way.

The first drug target for the host

PrEP (daily treatment of anti-HIV drugs used for prevention) is often used in the form of a vaginal gel, but it does not work for women who have genital inflammation.

The next step will be to test a clinical trial of whether Aspirin can reduce inflammation in women using PrEP and thereby reduce the number of HIV infections in high-risk women from HIV, such as female sex workers. This population was wondering about future research plans that focus on the use of Aspirin to prevent HIV.

If we can show it, Aspirin would be the first drug to target a host, not a virus, to prevent HIV.

If a clinical trial tests whether Aspirin can reduce inflammation in women using PrEP, it can become a means of reducing HIV infections among high risk women.
(Julie Lajoie), The author is provided

By acting on the host instead of the virus, Aspirin is not prone to create resistance to HIV, as there is no selective pressure on HIV to develop.

We are not yet in the stage where Aspirin can be recommended for HIV prevention, but the potential for another tool in our belt against the virus that killed 35 million people (almost the population of Canada) can only be good news. Especially one as a safe, affordable, affordable and non-stigmatizing aspirin.

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