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Hormonal Contraceptives Boost the Risk of HIV Infection

Hormonal Contraceptives Boost the Risk of HIV Infection


The use of oral or injectible hormonal contraceptives by women significantly boosts the risk of HIV infection through unprotected sex, according to a study presented in July at the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment. Researchers, who followed nearly 1,300 female sex workers in Kenya for the past decade, discovered that both oral and injectible birth control compounds boosted HIV infection risk, likely by causing systemic and genital tract changes that may make HIV infection easier. In particular, the injectible contraceptive medroxyprogesterone was linked with a two-fold increased risk of infection. The researchers conclude that condom use should be urged for all women taking hormonal contraceptives.

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