Session Date: April 23, 2021
Session Description: The family planning and HIV global health communities have long grappled with the question on whether hormonal contraception users faced an increased risk of HIV acquisition. New epidemiological evidence from the ECHO trial, a RCT conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, showed no substantial difference in HIV risk among women who were using any of the three contraceptive methods evaluated (DMPA-IM, LNG-implants, Cu-IUDs), and all methods were safe and highly effective. The results have led to updated guidance from WHO, stating that women at high risk of HIV can use all methods of contraception without restriction. However, the trial brought to light the persisting challenges of integrating FP and HIV programming on the ground, including increasing dual-method use and HIV/STI testing. USAID recently published a technical update brief on programmatic implications and the USG response based on the current evidence and revised WHO guidance regarding use of contraception by women at high risk of acquiring HIV. This presentation and panel discussion will highlight efforts to disseminate the new guidance, improve contraceptive method choice, and strengthen HIV prevention, including key insights to FP/HIV integration in settings with high HIV prevalence.