Use of Depo-Provera may Increase Risk of HIV Infection in Women

Use of Depo-Provera may Increase Risk of HIV Infection in Women

According to a new research, risk of HIV infection in women can be increased by the use of Depo-Provera, an injectable birth control drug.

The researchers said that women who are using Depo-Provera as a birth control can face about 40% of higher risk of HIV infection than women who make use of other forms of birth control or those who don't use any at all. The data is collected from 39,500 women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lauren Ralph, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the lead author of the study said that the risk they notice in their study would not be adequate to remove Depo from women's contraceptive mix.

According to the researchers, the risk of giving birth is high in Africa and utilizing Depo-Provera is more helpful. The researchers have also studied the possible connection between using Depo-Provera and contracting HIV infection. But researchers did not study the causal effect so the reason behind it cannot be explained yet.

"We embarked on this study since of the inconsistency in the scientific literature on this subject. The final results have potentially broad implications mainly because hormonal contraceptives remain well-known for ladies worldwide", said Ralph.

According to Depo-Provera's manufacturer, Pfizer, the company is not aware of any scientific evidence that shows a causal link amongst usage of hormonal contraceptives and an increase in HIV transmission prices.

Depo-Provera is the most often used birth control method by women in Africa. In Africa, the prevalence of HIV in females is also higher. The study may be important for the African female population but according to Ralph, it is not translated to other women from other countries, particularly in the United States where other methods of birth control are available.

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