Pilot Award Recipient: Ruth Kanthula, MD, MPH

Prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis among female adolescent and young adults with perinatally acquired HIV infection

Ruth Kanthula, MD, MPH
April 01, 2021

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) allows HIV to be managed as a chronic condition. HIV and ART have been
associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Risk factors for CVD have also been linked
to increased thickness of blood vessels including carotid arteries. The aim of the proposed study is to
characterize CVD risk in HIV infected female youth (n=20) who have been infected with the virus since
infancy, compared to healthy HIV-negative, matched controls (n=20). Female HIV infected and uninfected
adolescents and young adults (aged 15-40) will be recruited from Primary Care and Infectious Diseases
clinics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Cardiovascular risk factors such as family history,
exposure to smoking, diet/nutrition will be assessed at enrollment. Blood will also be collected to measure
lipid levels, blood glucose, and pro-inflammatory markers (i.e., high sensitivity C-reactive protein, Interleukin
-6 [IL-6] and d-Dimer). Additionally, researchers will also use neck ultrasounds to measure the thickness of
each study participants’ carotids arteries. Clinical and laboratory parameters will be analyzed for HIV-infected
youth and compared to matched controls.