Women’s choice of contraceptives can have broader implications and may play a significant role in shaping their sexual practices. We aim to identify the characteristics of women who use hormonal injectables and those at high risk of HIV infection. We also quantify the population-level impact of their shared attributes on HIV incidence rates.

Researchers included data from 9948 women who enrolled in six-HIV prevention trials conducted in South Africa. We used logistic and Cox regression models and estimated the population-level impact of injectables on HIV incidence in the multifactorial-model setting.

Using hormonal injectables was associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. At the population level, less than 20% of the conditions were related to injectable contraceptives among younger women. Factors including being single/not-cohabiting, using condoms at last sex, partner-related factors, and STI diagnosis were all identified.

The study concluded that there are overlapping characteristics of the women who used hormonal injectables and those at high risk of HIV infection. These findings reinforce the importance of comprehensive contraceptive counseling to women about the importance of dual protection, such as male condoms and hormonal contraceptives.

Reference: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13625187.2020.1831469