ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Professor Reviews the Evidence on Hormonal Contraception and HIV Acquisition

Dr. Heidi Jones, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy was the senior author on an article in Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

[Photo: Dr. Heidi Jones]

The purpose of the review was to understand whether hormonal contraception increases women’s risk of HIV acquisition. The review summarized recent epidemiologic and biologic data, and considered the implications of new evidence on research and programmatic efforts.

Recent epidemiologic and biologic evidence on hormonal contraception and HIV suggests a harmful profile for depot medroxyprogesterone acetate but not combined oral contraceptives. In limited data, nonhormonal/no method users and norethisterone enanthate appears safer than depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. More research is needed on other progestin-based methods, especially implants and Sayana Press (a lower-dose formulation and presentation of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate).

As the body of evidence increases, including meta-analyses across studies and in different subgroups of women (e.g., young women, women in serodiscordant partnerships), the authors suggested that these modeling studies should be updated to provide context and/or population-specific estimates of the tradeoffs of policy changes. The authors recommended that future priorities should include updating modeling studies with new pooled estimates, continued basic science to understand biological mechanisms, expanding contraceptive choice, and identifying effective ways to promote dual method use.