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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 May 10;51(18):389-92.

Nonoxynol-9 spermicide contraception use--United States, 1999.


Most women in the United States with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) become infected through sexual transmission, and a woman's choice of contraception can affect her risk for HIV transmission during sexual contact with an infected partner. Most contraceptives do not protect against transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and the use of some contraceptives containing nonoxynol-9 (N-9) might increase the risk for HIV sexual transmission. Three randomized, controlled trials of the use of N-9 contraceptives by commercial sex workers (CSWs) in Africa failed to demonstrate any protection against HIV infection; one trial showed an increased risk. N-9 contraceptives also failed to protect against infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis in two randomized trials, one among African CSWs and one among U.S. women recruited from an STD clinic. Because most women in the African studies had frequent sexual activity, had high-level exposure to N-9, and probably were exposed to a population of men with a high prevalence of HIV/STDs, the implications of these studies for U.S. women are uncertain. To determine the extent of N-9 contraceptive use among U.S. women, CDC assessed data provided by U.S. family planning clinics for 1999. This report summarizes the results of that assessment, which indicate that some U.S. women are using N-9 contraceptives. Sexually active women should consider their individual HIV/STD infection risk when choosing a method of contraception. Providers of family planning services should inform women at risk for HIV/STDs that N-9 contraceptives do not protect against these infections.

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