The truth on whether birth control drugs fuel HIV infections
Sexually activeThe latest study was conducted at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kisumu and involved 900 sexually active HIV-negative women aged 16 to 35. The women had been urged to use condoms to reduce the risk of getting infected or infecting others. But the Ministry of Health, citing recommendations by WHO, had dismissed the study and advised the women to continue using the injectables. The WHO had scheduled the results to be released next month but the leakage of the report last month may have brought the announcement forward. In a statement on May 23, WHO said the EHCO study had been inadvertently and temporarily released by a scientific journal. “But at the request of the ECHO Consortium, the journal quickly removed access to that non-peer reviewed version of the manuscript,” said the WHO. Dr Kiarie said that by August, the WHO will release new contraceptives user guidelines and hold several workshops on the matter, including a major conference in Nairobi between November13-15. Injectables are the most popular contraceptives in Kenya and are used by an estimated two million women, or 48 per cent of women practising birth control.
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