Use of hormonal contraceptives and risk of HIV-1 transmission: a prospective cohort study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

The Lancet infectious diseases, Volume 12, Issue 1, p.19-26 (2012)

Keywords:

2012, Adult, Africa, Eastern, Africa, Southern, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, Center-Authored Paper, Cervix Uteri, Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal, Female, HIV Seropositivity, HIV-1, Humans, Incidence, Male, November 2011, Proportional Hazards Models, Prospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Sexual Behavior, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Young Adult

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Hormonal contraceptives are used widely but their effects on HIV-1 risk are unclear. We aimed to assess the association between hormonal contraceptive use and risk of HIV-1 acquisition by women and HIV-1 transmission from HIV-1-infected women to their male partners. METHODS: In this prospective study, we followed up 3790 heterosexual HIV-1-serodiscordant couples participating in two longitudinal studies of HIV-1 incidence in seven African countries. Among injectable and oral hormonal contraceptive users and non-users, we compared rates of HIV-1 acquisition by women and HIV-1 transmission from women to men. The primary outcome measure was HIV-1 seroconversion. We used Cox proportional hazards regression and marginal structural modelling to assess the effect of contraceptive use on HIV-1 risk. FINDINGS: Among 1314 couples in which the HIV-1-seronegative partner was female (median follow-up 18·0 [IQR 12·6-24·2] months), rates of HIV-1 acquisition were 6·61 per 100 person-years in women who used hormonal contraception and 3·78 per 100 person-years in those who did not (adjusted hazard ratio 1·98, 95% CI 1·06-3·68, p=0·03). Among 2476 couples in which the HIV-1-seronegative partner was male (median follow-up 18·7 [IQR 12·8-24·2] months), rates of HIV-1 transmission from women to men were 2·61 per 100 person-years in couples in which women used hormonal contraception and 1·51 per 100 person-years in couples in which women did not use hormonal contraception (adjusted hazard ratio 1·97, 95% CI 1·12-3·45, p=0·02). Marginal structural model analyses generated much the same results to the Cox proportional hazards regression. INTERPRETATION: Women should be counselled about potentially increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition and transmission with hormonal contraception, especially injectable methods, and about the importance of dual protection with condoms to decrease HIV-1 risk. Non-hormonal or low-dose hormonal contraceptive methods should be considered for women with or at-risk for HIV-1. FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.