Abstract Background Hormonal contraceptives, particularly depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), have been reported to be associated with substantially enhanced HIV acquisition; however, the biological mechanisms of this risk remain poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of different hormonal contraceptives on the expression of the HIV co-receptors, CXCR4 and CCR5, on female endocervical and peripheral blood T cells. Methods A total of 59 HIV-negative women were enrolled, including 15 initiating DMPA, 28 initiating a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) and 16 initiating an etonogestrel (ETG)-delivering vaginal ring. Peripheral blood and endocervical cytobrush specimens were collected at enrollment and 3â 4â weeks after contraception initiation to analyze the expression of CXCR4 and CCR5, on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells using flow cytometry. Results Administration of DMPA increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing CCR5 in the endocervix but not in the peripheral blood. Administration of the LNG-IUD or the ETG vaginal ring did not affect the percentages of T lymphocytes expressing CXCR4 or CCR5 in the female cervix or peripheral blood. Conclusions Increase in the percentage of endocervical T cells expressing CCR5 upon DMPA exposure provides a plausible biological explanation for the association between DMPA use and an elevated risk of HIV infection.
|Date made available||2019|