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Title: Use of hormonal contraceptives and risk of HIV-1 transmission: a prospective cohort study
Authors: Heffron, Renee
Donnell, Deborah
Rees, Helen
Celum, Connie
Mugo, Nelly
Were, Edwin
Bruyn, Guy de
Nakku-Joloba, Edith
Ngure, Kenneth
Kiarie, James
Coombs, Robert W.
Baeten, Jared M.
Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study Team
Keywords: Hormonal contraception
Serodiscordant couples
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Background Hormonal contraceptives are used widely but their effects on HIV-1 risk are unclear. Methods We followed 3790 heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples from seven African countries participating in two longitudinal HIV-1 incidence studies. Among hormonal contraceptive users (including injectable and oral contraceptive users) and nonusers, we compared rates of HIV-1 acquisition in women and HIV-1 transmission from women to men. Findings Among 1314 couples in which the HIV-1 seronegative partner was female, HIV-1 acquisition rates were 6.61 and 3.78 per 100 person-years among hormonal contraceptive users and nonusers (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR]=1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06–3.68, p=0.03). Among 2476 couples in which the HIV-1 seronegative partner was male, HIV-1 transmission rates from women to men were 2.61 and 1.51 per 100 person-years in those whose partners currently used versus did not use hormonal contraception (AHR=1.97, 95% CI 1.12–3.45, p=0.02). In subgroup analysis, injectable contraceptive users had increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV-1 to their partner and HIV-1 seropositive women using injectable contraception had higher genital HIV-1 RNA concentrations, suggesting a mechanism for increased transmission risk. Oral contraceptives were used too infrequently to draw definitive conclusions about HIV-1 risk. Interpretation Women should be counseled about potentially increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition and transmission with hormonal contraception, particularly injectable methods, and about the importance of dual protection with condoms to decrease HIV-1 risk. Non-hormonal or lower-dose hormonal contraceptive methods should be considered for women with or at-risk for HIV-1. Funding National Institutes of Health (R03 HD068143, R01 AI083034, P30 AI027757, and T32 AI007140) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (26469 and 41185).
Appears in Collections:School of Medicine

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