The Injectable Contraceptive Could Double the Risk of HIV for East and Southern African Women

In early October, the prestigious medical journal Lancet published the results of a large-scale study that indicated that women living in East and Southern Africa using the injectable contraceptive appear to be at double the risk of HIV infection compared to other women. Furthermore, those women who are already HIV positive and are using the injectable have an increased risk of transmitting the disease to their partners This contraceptive, whose brand name is Depo-Provera, has generic versions on the market and is used by 6 percent of the 12 million women aged 15 – 45 in the East and Southern African region. In this part of Africa, the injectable is the most popular form of contraception due to its convenience and is now feared to be helping spread HIV/AIDS. This Lancet article has led the World Health Organization to organize a meeting to discuss what advice should be given to women living in the region. For additional information see