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Menstrual Cycle Affects HIV Levels

Menstrual Cycle Affects HIV Levels


The level of HIV in vaginal and cervical secretions in HIVpositive women fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle, according to a study in the June 15 edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Researchers studied HIVpositive women who received daily swabs to determine viral levels in vaginal fluids. Researchers detected a drop in HIV levels at a stage of the menstrual cycle called 'luteinizing hormone surge' and a slow buildup of HIV between the surge and the start of menstruation. The researchers concluded that fluctuating hormone levels during menstrual cycles can affect the level of HIV production in the vagina and cervix and that HIVers may be at a higher risk of passing the virus to their sex partners at certain points during the cycle when viral levels are at their highest.

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