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Update to CDC's U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

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Revised Recommendations for the Use of Hormonal Contraception among Women at High Risk for HIV Infection or Infected with HIV
MMWR Weekly. June 22, 2012 / 61(24);449-452

Summary

Prevention of unintended pregnancy among women at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or infected with HIV is critically important. One strategy for preventing unintended pregnancies in this population is improving access to a broad range of effective contraceptive methods. In 2010, CDC published U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 (US MEC), providing evidence-based guidance for the safe use of contraceptive methods among women with certain characteristics or medical conditions, including women who are at high risk for HIV infection or are HIV infected (1). Recently, CDC assessed the evidence regarding hormonal contraceptive use and the risk for HIV acquisition, transmission, and disease progression. This report summarizes that assessment and the resulting updated guidance. These updated recommendations affirm the previous guidance, which stated that 1) the use of hormonal contraceptives, including combined hormonal contraceptives, progestin-only pills, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and implants, is safe for women at high risk for HIV infection or infected with HIV (US MEC category 1), and 2) all women who use contraceptive methods other than condoms should be counseled regarding the use of condoms and the risk for sexually transmitted infections (1). However, a clarification is added to the recommendation for women at high risk for HIV infection who use progestin-only injectables to acknowledge the inconclusive nature of the body of evidence regarding the association between progestin-only injectable use and HIV acquisition. The clarification also notes the importance of condom use and other HIV preventive measures, expansion of the variety of contraceptive methods available (i.e., contraceptive method mix), and the need for further research on these issues.

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