The association between vaginal washing and HIV risk may be mediated by vaginal washing-associated changes in vaginal microbiota.
A study conducted from a cohort of HIV-negative US and Kenyan women enrolled in the Preventing Vaginal Infections trial were analysed. Vaginal fluid samples and vaginal washing data was collected every 2 months for 12 months. Vaginal washing was not associated with SDI in Kenyan participants. There were no associations between vaginal washing and vaginal bacterial relative abundances after applying the FDR.
Vaginal microbial shifts may not fully explain the association between vaginal washing and HIV acquisition.
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