HIV and contraception

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Contraception is a vital component of medical care for women with HIV or at high risk of acquiring HIV. Over the last several years, there has been emerging evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of various contraceptive methods, ultimately leading to a revision in the WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for contraceptive use.

Recent findings

Progestogen-only injectables may be associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition and its use has been revised to category 2 from category 1. Etonogestrel and levonorgestrel levels are lower in women who concurrently use contraceptive implant and efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy. Multipurpose technology, aimed at providing antiretroviral medication and contraception, is an area of ongoing research but is not yet clinically available.

Summary

It is important for providers who care for women with HIV or at high risk of HIV to inquire about pregnancy intentions. If contraception is desired, these women should be offered all available methods, with counseling regarding possible risks of contraceptive failure or HIV acquisition.

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