DURBAN – The results of a clinical study that will provide evidence about the potential link between three female contraceptives and an increased risk in HIV infection will be released at the 9th South African Aids Conference in Durban on Thursday afternoon.
The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) study started in 2015, with trials eventually taking place on 7,830 HIV negative women between the ages of 16 and 35 who wanted to be placed on contraception.
Participants were from South Africa, Kenya, Eswatini and Zambia, where the risk of HIV infection and HIV infection itself is high.
The contraceptives being studied were the widely utilised DMPA progestin injection (known as Depo), LNG arm implant and copper IUD.
The potential risks of the DMPA injection for women who are at high risk of HIV infection has long been uncertain, which is where the ECHO study comes in.