• Journal Article

Hormonal contraceptive use and HIV disease progression among women in Uganda and Zimbabwe


Morrison, C. S., Chen, P. L., Nankya, I., Rinaldi, A., Van der Pol, B., Ma, Y. R., ... Salata, R. A. (2011). Hormonal contraceptive use and HIV disease progression among women in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 57(2), 157-164. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318214ba4a


BACKGROUND:: HIV-infected women need highly effective contraception to reduce unintended pregnancies and mother-to-child HIV transmission. Previous studies report conflicting results regarding the effect of hormonal contraception (HC) on HIV disease progression. METHODS:: HIV-infected women in Uganda and Zimbabwe were recruited immediately after seroconversion; CD4 testing and clinical exams were conducted quarterly. The study endpoint was time to AIDS (two successive CD4 <200 cells/mm3 or WHO advanced stage 3 or stage 4 disease). We used marginal structural Cox survival models to estimate the effect of cumulative exposure to depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and oral contraceptives (OC) on time to AIDS. RESULTS:: 303 HIV-infected women contributed 1,408 person-years (py). 111 women (37%) developed AIDS. Cumulative probability of AIDS was 50% at 7 years and did not vary by country. AIDS incidence was 6.6, 9.3 and 8.8 per 100py for DMPA, OC and non-hormonal users. Neither DMPA (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 0.90; 95% CI 0.76-1.08) nor OCs (AHR =1.07; 95% CI 0.89-1.29) were associated with HIV disease progression. Alternative exposure definitions of HC use during the year prior to AIDS or at time of HIV infection produced similar results. STI symptoms were associated with faster progression while young age at HIV infection (18-24 years) was associated with slower progression. Adding baseline CD4 level and setpoint viral load to models did not change the HC results but subtype D infection became associated with disease progression. CONCLUSION:: Hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with more rapid HIV disease progression but older age, STI symptoms and subtype D infection were