The risk of HIV infection is exactly the same if an injectable contraceptive, a contraceptive implant inserted under the skin or the copper intrauterine device, also called the IUD, is used, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS). ), which refers to the results of the study carried out on ‘Evidence of contraceptive options and HIV results’. The work carried out on a large scale in the African countries of Eswatini, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia, in which the risks of contracting HIV were examined when using this type of contraceptive. “These results are important for women in areas with a high HIV prevalence,” says Gunilla Carlsson, executive director of UNAIDS.
Despite this, the study has highlighted the serious impact that HIV is having on women and girls in the African countries mentioned above. Specifically, it has shown a high incidence of HIV infections among women who participated in the trial and, especially, those under 25 years.
“Finding such high rates of new infections among young women through this study is deeply disturbing, which shows that, despite efforts to integrate family planning and HIV services, we are not doing so to the extent necessary to support women to protect themselves against HIV “, explains GunillaCarlsson.
Integration for HIV prevention in contraceptive services and other sexual and reproductive health services in high prevalence environments requires better literacy, diagnostic tests, access to antiretroviral therapy, testing of sexual partners, promotion of condoms and prophylaxis prior to exposure.
And, according to UNAIDS, ensuring that younger women can have access to a wide range of fully effective contraceptive methods and having the necessary tools at hand to protect themselves against HIV would help to ensure that women guarantee their sexual and reproductive rights .