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Hormonal Birth Control and the Risk of Acquiring HIV

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Information provided by:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier:
First received: October 2, 2000
Last updated: August 6, 2008
Last verified: November 2006

The purpose of this study is to find out whether hormonal birth control increases, decreases, or does not change the risk of women becoming infected with HIV.

Sexual intercourse between men and women is the main way HIV is transmitted. About 90 percent of HIV infections in women are caused by sexual intercourse. Also, hormonal birth controls are widely used. This study hopes to find out whether hormonal birth control changes the risk of women becoming infected with HIV.

Condition Intervention
HIV Infections Drug: Ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel Drug: Medroxyprogesterone acetate

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of HIV Acquisition

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Estimated Enrollment: 6360
Study Start Date: December 1999
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2002
Detailed Description:

Heterosexual intercourse is the primary mode of HIV transmission worldwide and accounts for about 90% of HIV infections in women. Hormonal contraceptives including COCs and injectables are among the most widely used contraceptives in the world. Understanding the impact of hormonal contraception on HIV transmission is a critical unanswered public health question. Because of the critical nature of this issue to women of reproductive age worldwide, a methodologically sound study must be undertaken. It must be determined if hormonal contraceptive use increases the risk of HIV infection and the magnitude of the association, if it exists.

This study takes place in Thailand, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. HIV-seronegative women continue using their current birth control method (low dose COC, DMPA injections, or non-hormonal contraceptive methods [condoms, sterilization, or no modern contraception method]) for the duration of the study. They are followed every 12 weeks for a minimum of 15 months and a maximum of 24 months, or until seroconversion. Pelvic exams, including Pap smears, are done, blood samples are drawn, and vaginal and cervical specimens are tested for any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Women are provided with free treatment for any STDs that are diagnosed. They complete a questionnaire on sexual behavior and contraceptive history; counseling on contraceptive use and reducing HIV risk is provided.


Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 35 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

Women may be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are 16 to 35 years of age.
  • Attend family planning and maternal and child health clinics in Zimbabwe, Thailand, or Uganda.
  • Have been using low-dose birth control pills, DMPA injections, or non-hormonal birth control (condoms, sterilization, or no modern birth control method) for at least 3 months and plan to continue using the same type of birth control for a year.
  • Are HIV-negative.
  • Are sexually active.
  • Are at least 4.5 months after delivery, if they have given birth.
  • Agree to all study procedures, including HIV testing every 3 months, follow-up clinic visits, and home visits if they fail to return for follow-up.
  • Have a home address where they can be reached for follow-up visits.

Exclusion Criteria

Women will not be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are pregnant or plan to try to become pregnant in the next year. Women who become pregnant after enrolling in the trial will not be discontinued.
  • Are not currently using low-dose birth control pills or DMPA for birth control but have used low-dose birth control pills within the last 3 months, or DMPA for birth control within the previous 6 months.
  • Are HIV-indeterminate or HIV-positive.
  • Have used an IUD for birth control in the last month.
  • Have used non-study types of birth control (such as Norplant, NET-EN, or progestin-only pills) within the last 3 months.
  • Have had a full hysterectomy.
  • Have had an abortion or miscarriage within the last month.
  • Have had a blood transfusion within the last 3 months.
  • Were previously or are currently in an HIV vaccine trial.
  • Injected illegal drugs within the last 3 months.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00006324

United States, North Carolina
Amy Lovvorn
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States, 27709
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Study Chair: Charles Morrison
Study Chair: Barbra Richardson
Principal Investigator: Sungwal Rugpao
Principal Investigator: Roy Mugerwa
Principal Investigator: Francis Mmiro
Principal Investigator: Tsungai Chipato
  More Information Identifier: NCT00006324     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HIVNET 021
Study First Received: October 2, 2000
Last Updated: August 6, 2008

Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
HIV Seronegativity
Delayed-Action Preparations
Risk Factors
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
Medroxyprogesterone 17-Acetate

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases
Ethinyl Estradiol
Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
Ethinyl estradiol, levonorgestrel drug combination
Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Contraceptive Agents
Reproductive Control Agents
Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Oral
Contraceptive Agents, Male
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
Antineoplastic Agents processed this record on September 18, 2017