Non-Human Primate Models of Hormonal Contraception and HIV

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Recent concerns that hormonal contraception (HC) may increase risk of HIV acquisition has led to keen interest in using non-human primates (NHP) to understand the underlying mechanism and the magnitude of the risk. This is, in part, because some experiments which would be difficult or logistically impossible in women are more easily conducted in NHP.

Method of study

NHP models of HIV can inform HIV acquisition and pathogenesis research and identify and evaluate biomedical preventions and treatments for HIV/AIDS. Widely used species include rhesus, pigtail, and cynomolgous macaques.


This paper reviews past, current and proposed NHP research around the intersection of HIV and HC.


NHP research may lead to the identification of hormonally regulated biomarkers that correlate with HIV-acquisition risk, to a ranking of existing or next-generation HC along an HIV-acquisition risk profile, and inform research around new biomedical preventions for HIV.

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