What has HIV got to do with contraception?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Although the claim that hormonal contraceptives might increase the risk of acquiring HIV is yet to be proven, experts, in this report by SADE OGUNTOLA, say that women need to also consider combining them with condoms to reduce the risk of HIV infection or STIs.
Many of today’s couples carefully plan the number of children they will raise, often with the help of modern contraceptive choices available from their physicians or family planning clinics. But if you are one of the millions of women who take hormonal contraception, your risk for HIV infection could probably be slightly higher.
In a study conducted in Africa, women who used hormonal contraception, in injection form, had double the risk of acquiring HIV or transmitting it to their male partners as those who did not use hormonal contraception.
Hormonal conception such as the oral contraceptive pill or contraceptive injections are effective forms of contraception. But, the study said the risk of acquiring HIV or transmitting it to their male partners was most pronounced for women using injectables like Depo-Provera.
In fact, for groups of women such as s3x workers who have a high risk of HIV infection, the implications may be more alarming.
Criteria for choice of contraception
Different criteria are used in determining the type of contraceptive a couple is counselled to take to plan their families. There is always a type that is suitable for every woman.
There are medical eligibilities, which is a set of guidelines by the World Health Organisation to determine an individual’s credibility for any particular contraceptive.
For instance, “There are some contraceptives that a hypertensive patient cannot use but others can. We weigh the risk of getting pregnant against what the contraception can do,” said Dr Tosin Awolude, a consultant obstetric and gynaecologist, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State.
Even women that are HIV-positive, too, can use contraceptives to plan their families. But “it is important that people with HIV disclose their HIV status since family planning contraceptives are individualistic,” he stated.
However, he declared that some contraceptive methods like female and male condoms confer double protection against pregnancy and s3xually transmitted infections, including the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), unlike others such as hormonal contraceptives that only protect against pregnancy.
Read more at http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/hiv-got-contraception/