Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 447–458 | Cite as

Contraceptive Methods and Risk of HIV Acquisition or Female-to-Male Transmission

  • Lisa B. HaddadEmail author
  • Chelsea B. Polis
  • Anandi N. Sheth
  • Jennifer Brown
  • Athena P. Kourtis
  • Caroline King
  • Rana Chakraborty
  • Igho Ofotokun
Behavioral-Bio-Medical Interface (JL Brown and RJ DiClemente, Section Editors)


Effective family planning with modern contraception is an important intervention to prevent unintended pregnancies which also provides personal, familial, and societal benefits. Contraception is also the most cost-effective strategy to reduce the burden of mother-to-child HIV transmission for women living with HIV who wish to prevent pregnancy. There are concerns, however, that certain contraceptive methods, in particular the injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), may increase a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV or transmitting it to uninfected males. These concerns, if confirmed, could potentially have large public health implications. This paper briefly reviews the literature on use of contraception among women living with HIV or at high risk of HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations place no restrictions on the use of hormonal contraceptive methods by women with or at high risk of HIV infection, although a clarification recommends that, given uncertainty in the current literature, women at high risk of HIV who choose progestogen-only injectable contraceptives should be informed that it may or may not increase their risk of HIV acquisition and should also be informed about and have access to HIV preventive measures, including male or female condoms.


HIV AIDS Contraception Hormonal contraception Transmission 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Lisa B. Haddad, Chelsea B. Polis, Anandi N. Sheth, Athena P. Kourtis, and Caroline King declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Jennifer Brown has received a grant from the NIH.

Rana Chakraborty has received a grant from the CDC and Gilead.

Igho Ofotokun has received a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the United States Agency for International Development.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa B. Haddad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chelsea B. Polis
    • 2
  • Anandi N. Sheth
    • 3
  • Jennifer Brown
    • 4
  • Athena P. Kourtis
    • 5
  • Caroline King
    • 5
  • Rana Chakraborty
    • 6
  • Igho Ofotokun
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Office of Population and Reproductive HealthUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID)WashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Grady Healthcare SystemEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychological SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  5. 5.Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious DiseasesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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