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Study Results Released At South African AIDS Conference Discuss Contraceptive Use, HIV Risk Among Women, Community-Based HIV/TB Project

Devex: ‘Reassuring’ contraceptives and HIV trial also a wake-up call, experts say
“There is no substantial difference in HIV risk among three highly effective methods of contraception, the results of a randomized clinical trial conducted in four African nations show. But the findings reveal high rates of HIV contracted among each group of women studied, prompting calls for deeper integration of HIV prevention with family planning services. The results of the Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes, or ECHO, study … were announced today at the South African AIDS Conference in Durban…” (Rogers, 6/13).

New York Times: Depo-Provera, an Injectable Contraceptive, Does Not Raise HIV Risk
“…[I]n recent years, women have been terrified — and family planning officials frustrated — as studies suggested that women using injectables were far more likely to get infected with HIV. On Thursday, a major new study found that women who [used the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera] were not at a much greater risk than they were from other contraceptive methods, including a hormone implant or a copper intrauterine device. The World Health Organization will view the study next month as it debates whether to give back the injectable its top safety rating. Two years ago, the WHO lowered its rating one notch, but said the benefits still outweighed the risks. … The study, which involved more than 7,800 women in four African countries and was published in The Lancet, pleased advocates for women’s health…” (McNeil, 6/13).

Xinhua News: S. Africa’s community-based HIV/TB project achieves UNAIDS targets: MSF
“A South African community-based HIV/TB project has met the UNAIDS targets of 90-90-90 one year ahead of the 2020 deadline, it was announced on Thursday. … MSF released its findings at the on-going 9th South African AIDS Conference which kicked off on Wednesday at the Durban International Conference Center. The organization said the results support MSF’s view that interventions at community levels can successfully reach and directly support more people living with HIV who do not access conventional health services, which is key to getting ahead of the HIV epidemic…” (6/12).