Meta-Analysis: Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Linked to Increase in HIV Acquisition — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 9, 2015

Meta-Analysis: Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Linked to Increase in HIV Acquisition

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

A new meta-analysis adds to evidence suggesting that depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA, marketed as Depo-Provera) is associated with increased risk for HIV acquisition. The findings appear in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Researchers examined 12 observational studies that evaluated the association between hormonal contraception and HIV acquisition in women in sub-Saharan Africa. Women using DMPA had a significant increase in HIV acquisition relative to those using nonhormonal methods or no contraception (hazard ratio, 1.4). Although high-risk women (i.e., sex workers, injection-drug users, those with HIV-positive partners) had a particularly increased risk, even women in the general population were at risk (HR, 1.3). Findings did not differ for women whose partners used condoms.

Oral contraceptives were not associated with HIV acquisition.

Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, an associate editor of NEJM Journal Watch Women's Health, comments: "As efforts remain needed to ensure prompt access to many contraceptives in much of the world, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate continues to play a vital role in protecting women from the hazards of undesired pregnancy (which increases women's risk of acquiring HIV more than any available contraceptive)."

Reader Comments (2)

MATTHEW WEITZEL Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, Community Health Center

This is an alarming finding considering the aggressive approach that governments and NGO's like the Gates Foundation have taken in promoting the use of Depo Provera in developing countries as a form of family planning. It should cause us to pause and ask the question are these organizations really acting in the best interest of women, children, and families in the developing world when advocating a form of family planning that threatens their well-being with a deadly infectious disease? It would seem that a higher priority has been placed on population control at the expense of the dignity of this vulnerable population.

Lorraine Constant Physician, Endocrinology, UFRJ/HUCFF

What changes in reprodutive system made by DMPA can facilitate the infeccion by the virus, this is a great question

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