The safety of hormonal contraceptives for women living with HIV and their sexual partners

Contraception. 2016 Jan;93(1):11-6. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2015.10.002. Epub 2015 Oct 26.


Background: Hormonal contraceptives are important for the health and well-being of some women living with HIV, so evaluation of evidence regarding their safety vis-à-vis HIV-related risks is important.

Methods: We updated two prior systematic reviews on the impact of hormonal contraception (HC) on HIV disease progression and female-to-male HIV transmission.

Results: One new study finds no increased risk for HIV disease progression or death associated with oral contraceptive use [adjusted (adj) hazard ratio (HR) 0.83, confidence interval [CI] 0.48-1.44] or injectables (adj HR 0.72, CI 0.53-0.98). Three new studies did not find significantly increased risks for measures of female-to-male HIV transmission with HC use.

Conclusions: Hormonal contraceptive methods do not appear to accelerate HIV disease progression. More research is needed to clarify whether HC impacts HIV transmissibility.

Keywords: HIV; Hormonal contraception; injectable contraceptives; oral contraceptives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / adverse effects*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Sexual Partners*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal