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Hormonal contraception and HIV prevalence in four African countries
Authors: Leclerc PM, Dubois-Colas N, Garenne M.
Source: Contraception, 77(5):371-6. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.01.012. Epub 2008 Mar 19.
Topic(s): Contraception
HIV/AIDS
Country: Africa
  Kenya
  Malawi
  Zimbabwe
  Lesotho
Published: MAY 2008
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The HIV seroprevalence among women aged 15-24 years was compared according to their pattern of contraceptive use in four African countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. STUDY DESIGN: Data were derived from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted between 2003 and 2006 on representative samples, totaling 4549 women. RESULTS: It is indicated that users of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) have a significantly higher seroprevalence than nonusers [odds ratio (OR)=1.82, 95% CI=1.63-2.03] and higher than users of oral contraceptives and users of traditional methods. The results were confirmed in a multivariate analysis including as controls, age, duration since first intercourse, urban residence, education, number of sexual partners in the last 12 months and marital status. A somewhat smaller net effect (OR=1.34, 95% CI=1.10-1.63) was found. In contrast, oral contraceptives and traditional methods did not show any risk for HIV (OR=0.96 and 0.92, respectively). CONCLUSION: The increased risk of DMPA was present in three of the four countries investigated, and significant in Zimbabwe and Lesotho, the countries with the highest HIV seroprevalence. The HIV risk attributable to DMPA remained small altogether and was estimated as 6% in the four countries combined.