New research suggesting HIV-infected women buy aspirin to prevent cervical cancer is an important development, as over-the-counter medication is a cheap alternative to costly drugs often unavailable to people in developing countries, say Canadian pharmacies. The study is a joint effort conducted by cancer specialists based in Haiti, Qatar, and New York in conjunction with global health investigators from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Center. Haiti reportedly has the highest incidence of cervical cancer due to HIV infection in the Western Hemisphere. The death rate has increased alarmingly, and seeking out a cheap cure becomes vital.
HIV Positive Women Have Higher Risk of HPV Infection
Women living with HIV are often known to have a more persistent medical condition known as human papillomavirus or HPV infection, one of the most commonly transmitted infections in the United States and several other countries. It is more persistent in HIV-positive women as compared to HIV-negative women and often leads to HPV-related diseases. For example, commonly-appearing warts in HPV can progress to dysplasia in women infected with both HIV and HPV.
The immune system fights HPV infection. AIV-infected women have reduced immune health and therefore find it difficult to sustain the required CD4 cell count, a common marker indicating required level of immunity in humans. The HIV viral load is another indicator showing how active HIV is in the body. Earlier studies followed by Canadian pharmacies have established the link between these various indicators. If the HIV viral load goes beyond 10,000 copies and/or CD4 cell count reduces, risk of HPV-related disease increases.
Cheap Aspirin Effectively Breaks Link Between HIV and Cervical Cancer
Researchers analyzed levels of COX-2 and PGE-M molecules in women infected with and without HIV and HPV. A direct link was found to exist between the infections and increased risk of cervical cancer. The study involved examining levels of COX-2 and PGE-M in three different groups of women. A total of 13 women suffering from both HIV and HPV showed increased levels of both molecules. The count was still elevated in 18 HIV-infected women with a negative HPV test, and was found to be the minimum in 17 HIV-infected women without HPV infection.
Haitian women infected with HIV suffer from inflammation in cervical tissue. Researchers were now able to identify a connection between chronic inflammation caused by HIV and elevated levels of prostaglandin E2 or PGE2 leading to development of tumors observed in cervical cancer. Findings help explain why a five-fold higher risk of developing cervical cancer existed for HIV-positive women when compared to HIV-negative women. Aspirin effectively breaks the link between HIV and cervical cancer by inhibiting Cox-2 molecules causing inflammation.
Coexisting with HPV infection adds to risk of cervical cancer in HIV-positive women. Canadian pharmacies suggest further research is required to find out extent to which aspirin can prevent cervical cancer, but findings from the present study provide enough evidence it is possible to prevent inflammation and inhibit COX-2 molecules with aspirin, thereby reducing risk of cervical cancer in women infected with HIV and HPV. It may be a cheap solution for high-risk candidates in countries where affordability is an issue.