Women who use of Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive, have a 40 percent higher risk of HIV infection than women who use other contraceptive methods or no method, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Researchers analyzed 12 studies involving nearly 40,000 women in sub-Saharan Africa. Although, authors of the study noted the link between use of medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and the increase in risk of HIV infection was statistically significant, they warned it was not enough to justify a complete withdrawal of the drug. It was also observed that this link was lower among women in the general population than for those already at higher HIV risk, like sex workers.
Co-author of the study Lauren Ralph of the University of California at Berkeley said, "The moderate elevation in risk observed in our study is not enough to justify a complete withdrawal of DMPA for women in the general population. It would leave many women without immediate access to alternative, effective contraceptive options. This is likely to lead to more unintended pregnancies, and because childbirth remains life-threatening in many developing countries, could increase overall deaths among women."