By Jeanne Monahan
The New York Times ran a stunning story yesterday “Contraceptive Use May Double Risk of H.I.V.“, about a new study published today in the Lancet showing that hormonal contraceptive use is strongly correlated with an increased vulnerability to contracting HIV/AIDS.
The study was conducted in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most impacted by HIV/AIDS in the world. Three thousand, seven hundred and ninety serodiscordant couples (one partner is HIV positive and one is not) participated in the longitudinal study running for six years, from 2004-2010. The bottom line? Women who used hormonal contraception had a “two-times increased risk of acquiring HIV.” Additionally, women who were using hormonal contraceptives were significantly more likely to transmit HIV to their partners.
The NYT reports that the World Health Organization is convening a meeting in January to review the latest research about the relationship between hormonal contraceptives and HIV/AIDS vulnerability and review if/how current recommendations require revisions.
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