A Recent Study Finds Depo Provera Increases A Woman's Risk Of Getting HIV

Women using injectable contraceptives are more likely to acquire HIV than non-users.

  • In a recent study published in the journal Issues in Law and Medicine researchers conducted a meta-analysis to determine if existing research on the use of DMPA increases a woman’s risk of getting HIV transmitted by a male. The authors noted that studies dating back to 1992 suggested that the use of DMPA put women at a greater risk of contracting HIV. Epidemiological and biological information was analyzed to determine if enough evidence existed to qualify DMPA as a danger to women’s health. 

    After analyzing research from 24 previous studies, the authors found compelling evidence to characterize DMPA, found in Depo-Provera and other injectable contraceptives, a hazard to women’s health.

    The findings from this meta-analysis are consistent with the results of previous studies and research. Noteworthy is that despite “substantial” differences in the various studies’ designs, the authors found it “striking” that all of the researchers came up with “almost identical” results.

    The authors concluded that “. . .DMPA has been shown to weaken both the epithelial and immunological barriers to HIV transmission.” Based on this evidence, the authors stated that “DMPA adds significantly to the risk of male to female HIV transmission.”

    The authors strongly suggest that policy makers and practitioners provide women with information on the increased risk of contracting HIV while using DMPA. [1]

 1Brind, Joel, Steven Condly, Steven W. Mosher, Anne Morse, Jennifer Kimball.“Risk of HIV Infection in Depot-Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA) Users: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Issues in Law & Medicine 30, no. 2 (2015):129-139


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