According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, published in the <i>Lancet Infections Diseases</i>, women who used contraceptive injections were twice as likely to contract and spread HIV. The researchers studied 3,790 couples in which one partner was HIV positive in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Ungada, and Zambia.

Isobel Coleman, director of the women and foreign policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, stated, “The best contraception today is injectable hormonal contraception because you don’t need a doctor, it’s long-lasting, it enables women to control timing and spacing of birth without a lot of fuss and travel. If it is now proven that these contraceptions are helping spread the AIDS epidemic, we have a major health crisis on our hands.”

Contraceptive injections, which are administered every three months, are the most commonly used form of birth control in Africa. According to the New York Times, “About 12 million between the ages of 15 and 49 in sub-Saharan Africa, roughly 6 percent of all women in that age group, use them.” Throughout the world, over 140 million women use hormonal contraception, with includes both birth control pills an injections.

San Francisco Gate 10/4/11; New York Times 10/3/11

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