HIV infection and transmissionThe human body is miraculously sensitive to environmental changes and situations, but can the human body alter immunity to certain viruses based on specific population dynamics? According to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in adolescent and pregnant populations, the immune system may be altered, but the alteration increases the risk of HIV infection. The report was published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

One major factor in HIV transmission is inflammation of the genital tract. Adolescents and pregnant women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other demographic of the female population. Forced intercourse increases inflammation putting this demographic at higher risk of HIV infection. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that the female body, within the reported demographics, may exhibit altered immunity that increases the risk of HIV infection. Specifically, altered genital mucosal immunity.

Conclusion: Altered genital mucosa in adolescent and pregnant women may be one cause of increased vulnerability to infection among adolescent and pregnant women.

Source: Pellett Madan R, Herold BC. HIV, Sexual Violence and Special Populations: Adolescence and Pregnancy. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 Nov 26. doi: 10.1111/aji.12044.