Hormonal contraceptive use linked to increased HIV transmission

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Hormonal contraceptive use associated with increased risk of HIV acquisition and increased risk of transmission from HIV-infected women to male partners

An oral abstract presentation by Heffron on behalf of the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Team contributed to mounting evidence that hormonal contraceptive use is associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition by women. The study of HIV discordant couples compared couples using hormonal contraception with those who were not.  Most hormonal contraceptives being used were injectable.

This study also offered the first evidence that hormonal contraceptive use by HIV-infected women may increase the risk of HIV transmission to their male sexual partners.  The study found increased HIV genital viral load in women with HIV infection using hormonal contraceptives compared to HIV-infected women not using them, which may account for the increased risk of transmission, investigators said Wednesday afternoon at the 2011 International AIDS Conference in Rome.

HIV uninfected women using hormonal contraceptives were twice as likely to acquire HIV infection from their infected male partners than women not using hormonal contraceptives.  HIV-infected women using oral contraceptives were also twice as likely to transmit HIV infection to their uninfected male partners as women not using oral contraceptives.

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  1. Pingback: CDC weighs in: contraceptive hormones look safe for HIV-exposed, infected — but use condoms, too | Science Speaks: HIV & TB News

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