The development of surrogates to predict HIV prevention product safety and efficacy is a high
priority. An ex vivo challenge model is one such promising surrogate. Colonic tissue exposed
to rectally applied microbicides in vivo and then challenged with HIV in the lab showed
significant reduction in HIV replication when compared to tissue exposed to placebo gel.
Currently, the ex vivo challenge model for ectocervical and vaginal tissue is under
development at the Dezzutti lab at the Magee Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh, PA.
Currently the Reproductive Infectious Disease Research Group is conducting a study designed
to answer important questions about the ex vivo challenge model:which HIV virus is the best
to use in the laboratory and what is the best indicator of HIV infection. The proposed study
delineated here will investigate the effect of BV, HSV and contraceptive use on the model .
There will be two arms to the study; the first will investigate the impact of HSV and BV
status and the second, contraceptive use. Vaginal and cervical biopsies will be collected
from participants for the ex vivo challenge model.
1. Age 18-45
2. HIV uninfected. Note: if a woman participated in a recent research study and has an
HIV test result available from that study, this will suffice provided the date of the
test is within 6 months of the enrollment visit for this trial. Otherwise, the
potential participant should undergo testing at the first study visit.
3. Willing and able to give informed consent to take place in the study
4. Willing to undergo a pelvic examination and genital biopsies and HIV and HSV testing
5. Willing to provide contact information
6. Agree to be sexually abstinent for two weeks beginning one week prior to the
2. Pregnant or within 90 days of last pregnancy
4. Use of a diaphragm, NuvaRing or spermicide for contraception
5. Reports a course of antibiotic therapy in the 14 days prior to enrollment
6. Known history of platelet disorder or bleeding disorder
7. Participation in another microbicide or contraceptive study or a study involving
cervical and/or vaginal biopsies within one month of enrollment
8. Pelvic exam findings concerning for cervicitis including abnormal cervical discharge,
erythema and edema
9. Use of any spermicide or spermicide-lubricated condom within one week of enrollment.
10. Use of any internal vaginal device or product with the exception of tampons within one
week of enrollment
11. Any other condition that in the opinion of the site investigator would preclude
provision of informed consent, make participation in the study unsafe, complicate
interpretation of study outcome data, or otherwise interfere with achieving the study