Hormonal influence on HIV-1 transmission in the female genital tract: New insights from systems biology
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Although anti-retroviral treatments have significantly slowed down the spread of the HIV-1 pandemic, approximately 2 million new infections occur every year. The majority of new infections are in sub-Saharan Africa where rates of infection are much higher in women than men. Young women are disproportionately affected and have higher susceptibility to HIV-1. The complex interactions between HIV-1 and the female genital tract (FGT) and the mechanisms regulating susceptibility in women remain incompletely understood. In this review, we focus on the current understanding of the acute events that occur in the FGT following HIV-1 exposure with a particular focus on the effect of endogenous and exogenous sex hormones on HIV-1 susceptibility. We highlight the contribution of the recent transcriptomic and proteomic studies in providing new insights.
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