UNAIDS - 3 February 2012
Geneva, 3 February 2012--The World Health Organization (WHO) will
later this month issue further guidance on the reported link
between hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, injectables,
implants and HIV.
On 31 January and 1 February, WHO convened a technical
consultation WHO and Partners Stakeholders' Meeting on Hormonal
Contraception and HIV Infection: A review of the evidence and
implications for service delivery and priority research, made up
of 53 experts from 20 countries to review the body of published
evidence on the use of hormonal contraceptives and HIV
acquisition, progression, and transmission. The review was
prompted by new findings in 2011 that implied a possible increase
in HIV infection among women at risk of HIV who use hormonal
contraception, or increased transmission to an un-infected
partner when a woman is living with HIV and using hormonal
The outcomes of this meeting will now be assessed by the WHO
Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) - the body that oversees the
production of WHO public health guidelines for countries. The
Committee will meet on 15 February and announce its
recommendations the following day.
However, WHO guidelines clearly state, and call on health service
providers to remind their patients, that neither hormonal
contraceptives nor intrauterine devices (IUDs) offer protection
against HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Condoms are the mainstay of dual protection against both unwanted
pregnancy and STIs including HIV.
As outlined in WHO's recent guidance in 2009, based on the best
evidence available at that time, The Medical Eligibility Criteria
for Contraceptive Use, 4th Edition 2009 (MEC) says that women at
high risk of HIV infection and those who are living with HIV can
safely use hormonal methods.
More information on the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and
Research can be found at:
tel. +41 79 514 6896 / +41 22 791 1697
Fadela Chaib, WHO Spokesperson
tel. + 41 22 791 32 28, Mob: + 41 79 475 55 56
World Health Organization (WHO)
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