A new study has found that women who use the birth control shot, called depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) or Depo-Provera, have a moderately higher risk of getting the deadly HIV infection.
The findings were concluded following a large meta-analysis of 12 research studies that involved over 39,500 women.
The researchers, however, finds no role of other forms of hormonal contraception, such as oral contraceptive pills, in increasing the HIV risk.
The meta-analysis of all existing data of the 12 previous studies were conducted by the researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, US.
During the analysis, the researchers examined the effect of using the0 commonly recommended forms of hormonal contraceptions, such as progestin-only pills, oral contraceptives and norethisterone enanthate and injectable contraceptives DMPA on raising the risk of HIV infection up to June, 2014.
The study showed that the use of DMPA raised women’s chance of getting infected with AIDS –causing HIV by 40 percent in comparison to those women who used other contraceptive methods or used no method at all.
According to the researchers, the HIV risk was more prominent among those women who are highly exposed to the AIDS causing virus such as sex workers.
On the other hand, the women belonging to the general population has 31 percent higher risk of acquiring HIV.
Lauren Ralph, study lead author and an epidemiologist at the University of California, said, “The moderate elevation in risk observed in our study is not enough to justify a complete withdrawal of DMPA for women in the general population.”
Ralph further said, “Banning DMPA would leave many women without immediate access to alternative, effective contraceptive options. This will further lead to more unintended pregnancies, and as childbirth remains life-threatening in many developing nations, it could raise overall deaths among women.”
Nearly 144 million women use hormonal contraception across the world, with103 million taking the oral contraceptive pills and about 41 million using the injectable forms.
The study’s findings were published in journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.