Methods: We compared the performance of 3 collection methods for cervicovaginal secretions [cervicovaginal lavage (CVL), CVL enriched with a cervical swab (eCVL), and vaginal tampon (VT)] to identify the most reliable method for detection of cervicovaginal HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HIV-1 RNA (Nuclisens EasyQ; BioMerieux, Marcy-l'Etoile, France), HSV-2 DNA (real-time polymerase chain reaction), and microscopic blood and semen traces were detected in samples from 19 HIV-1-HSV-2-coinfected women seen at 4 weekly visits. Results: HIV-1 RNA was detected in 49 (79%) of 62 eCVLs, 41 (61%) of 67 CVLs, and 27 (57%) of 47 VTs. Detection of HIV-1 RNA was higher in eCVL compared with CVL [45/58 (78%) vs. 32/58 (55%); risk ratio 1.41, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.88]. Conclusions: Although more eCVLs were contaminated with microscopic blood (29%) than CVLs (22%) or VTs (7%), detection of HIV-1 RNA remained higher using eCVL compared with CVL (risk ratio 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 2.02) in uncontaminated samples. HSV-2 DNA was detected in less than 10% of samples by each method but in 7 (37%) of 19 women overall by 1 or more methods.
JAIDS, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (2008) 49 (4) 406-409 [doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31818c7f75]