MEHARRY SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN'S AIDS RESEARCH IN THE LAB OF Donald aLCENDOR, pH.d.

HIV RESEARCH

As we observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Meharry Medical College would like to highlight the research of Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D. and his groundbreaking discoveries of health disparities related to HIV/AIDS in African American women.

According to Dr. Alcendor, African American women contract HIV at a rate that is 20 times higher than white women. His research focuses on the link between HIV and bacterial vaginosis in African American women.

In recently published research in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Dr. Alcendor notes that bacterial vaginosis creates a bridge that allows HIV to enter cells more easily. African American women are at an increased risk for HIV, according to Dr. Alcendor because they are more likely to have bacterial vaginosis. Approximately 50 percent of African American women age 14 to 49 have bacterial vaginosis compared to 29 percent of all women.

"In this paper I'm saying that the increased risk of bacterial vaginosis and the risk for HIV infection are linked," Dr. Alcendor said. "The high prevalence of bacterial vaginosis may go a long way in explaining why African American women are more susceptible to HIV."

See published research article

Learn about our Center for HIV/AIDS Research

Video: Dr. Hildreth at the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund