Tampons as a self-administered collection method for the detection and quantification of genital HIV-1

Mayris P. Webber, Ellie E. Schoenbaum, Homayoon Farzadegan, Robert S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the detection and quantitation of HIV-1 from tampon eluents in comparison with cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) and plasma specimens from the same women. Methods: Ninety-seven tampon, 105 CVL, and 104 plasma specimens from 105 HIV-1 seropositive women were analyzed using Version 3 of the Chiron bDNA assay, with sensitivity of 50 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml. Data analyses used McNemar's test, Wilcoxon signed rank test, and Mantel-Haenszel chi-squared and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals to assess differences in proportions. Results: In women for whom both plasma and genital specimens were available, HIV-1 was detected less frequently in genital specimens: [tampons (33/97, 34%) and CVL (48/104, 46%)] than plasma specimens (86/104, 83%) (P< 0.001 for both plasma versus tampon and for plasma versus CVL). However, the proportion of genital specimens with detectable virus did not differ significantly by collection method (P = 0.14). Among women with detectable virus using both collection methods (n = 23), viral load was similar for tampon eluents (median, 355 copies/ml; range, 52-120898) and CVL specimens (median, 265 copies/ml; range, 61-35637; P = 0.88). Conclusion: Tampon eluent specimens are slightly less sensitive than CVL specimens in the detection of genital HIV-1, although quantification of viral load, when detectable by both methods, was similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1420
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 27 2001


  • Cervicovaginal lavage
  • Genital HIV-1
  • Tampon
  • Viral load
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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