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New Study Shows Risk of HIV Acquisition Is Higher with DMPA Contraceptives

Meta-analysis finds higher incidence of HIV-1 infection among women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA)

A review and meta-analysis has found that women who use depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), the active ingredient in injectable contraceptives like Depo-Provera, are placed at a significantly higher risk of acquiring HIV.

The findings could have a deep residual impact for many women who depend on DMPA for contraception and are living in developing countries or in at-risk environments where the risk of HIV transmission remains high.

Joel Brind, Professor of Biology and Endocrinology at the City University of New York, Steven Condly, Research Psychologist at the U.S. Military Academy, Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, Anne Morse, and Jennifer Kimball, Adjunct Professor of Bioethics at the Ave Maria School of Law participated in the study.

A meta-analysis was drawn from a total of 24 studies making it the most comprehensive meta-analysis of its kind to date.

Researchers observed data from both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and found DMPA users were almost 50% more likely to acquire HIV than women not using hormonal contraceptives (HR=1.49, 95% CI 1.28-1.73). In total, 88% of cross-sectional studies and 75% of longitudinal studies demonstrated a positive association of higher risk among DMPA users.

The study’s authors found that DMPA could exacerbate the immunosuppressive effects (shared with other progestins) by acting as a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) agonist, a mechanism that does not appear to be shared with other progestins like norethisterone.

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About the Population Research Institute

The Population Research Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to research and education on issues pertaining to demography and human rights, to exposing human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to making the case that people are the world’s greatest resource.

Media Contact

For more information or to arrange an interview with Steven Mosher or Dr. Joel Brind, please contact:

Jonathan Abbamonte
Research Analyst
(540) 660-2733
[email protected]


Release Updated 1:15pm EST, 02/26/16


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