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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2011 Mar;65(3):302-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2010.00930.x. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Hormonal contraception and HIV-1 transmission.

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Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Safe and effective contraceptive choices are essential for women with HIV-1 infection and at risk for HIV-1 infection. Epidemiological and laboratory-based studies suggest that hormonal contraception may influence HIV-1 transmission. Several large studies in high-risk populations indicate that hormonal contraceptive use may modestly increase the risk of HIV-1 acquisition. In addition, HIV-1-infected users of hormonal contraceptives may be more infectious to their uninfected partners, although no studies have directly measured HIV-1 transmission risk from women to men. However, several studies failed to demonstrate a link between contraceptive use and HIV-1 acquisition or transmission, and interpretation of many studies limited by methodological considerations, such as infrequent measurements of contraceptive exposure and HIV-1 status. As a result, many questions remain, and high-quality studies remain needed. It is clear that hormonal contraceptives are not protective against HIV-1 infection and that dual protection with condoms should be the goal for women using hormonal contraception.

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