Women’s Health Contraceptive injections increase risk of HIV – Study

The scientific studysuggests that women who receive the injections are 40 per cent more likely to be infected with the virus than women who use other contraceptive methods or none at all.

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A health worker injects a woman with a shot of Depo Provera, a quarterly contraceptive injection, at a health clinic in Busia, Uganda, in 2009. play

A health worker injects a woman with a shot of Depo Provera, a quarterly contraceptive injection, at a health clinic in Busia, Uganda, in 2009.

(MCT/Getty Images)
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According to a scientific study, women who use contraceptive injections stand a greater risk of becoming infected with HIV.

The study, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, suggests that women who receive the injections are 40 per cent more likely to be infected with the virus than women who use other contraceptive methods or none at all.

The research involved a review of 12 studies of more than 39,500 women and found that other forms of hormonal contraception, including oral contraceptive pills, do not appear to increase this risk.

The authors of the research have however said that the risk increase is moderate and as such does not justify the complete withdrawal of the injections.

Epidemiologist Lauren Ralph 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. Banning DMPA 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,” she added.

About 144 million women around the world use hormonal contraception - 41 million of them use the injectable forms while 103 million take the oral contraceptive pill.

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