A landmark study has ended 30 years of anxiety that hormonal contraceptive injections may increase women’s chances of infection from HIV.
But the study found a dramatically higher rate of HIV infection among women in southern Africa than was expected, which one leading campaigning organisation said signified a “public health crisis.”
The new study, called ECHO (Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes), published in the Lancet, was designed to put an end to the controversy. It compared the HIV infection rates among women using hormonal injections with those using an IUD (intrauterine device or coil) or an implant. It involved more than 7,800 women in Eswatini, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.