School of Public Health - International Health (Social and Behavioral Interventions)
Empowering women with the tools necessary to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, is critically important for individual and public health. While hormonal contraceptive methods are highly effective for empowering women through prevention of unintended pregnancy, recent studies have found a potential association between hormonal contraceptive methods, specifically depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and an increase risk of HIV acquisition in women. This study aims to investigate the preferences of contraceptive users in Rakai, Uganda to avoid HIV acquisition and transmission. This study is a follow up from recent systematic reviews conducted to evaluate the association between increased HIV acquisition and available contraception methods [under the WHO’s medical eligibility criteria (MEC) guidelines] in parts of the world like Sub-Saharan Africa which has high DMPA use. This qualitative research study will collect data through in-depth interviews with hormonal contraceptive using participants in the Rakai Community Cohort Study. Women living in Rakai face a unique yet stressful living environment, as Rakai is considered a HIV “hotspot” with significantly higher rates of HIV prevalence than the rest of the country. When deciding which contraceptive method to utilize, these women face many challenges, such as living in an HIV “hotspot”, limited hormonal contraception options, and their partner’s contraceptive preferences. This proposed qualitative study will provide a deeper look at end-users’ respective considerations when determining which contraceptive method to use, especially when avoiding HIV acquisition and transmission. The findings of this study will inform future revision to WHO’s guidance on contraception method preferences.
PI: Caitlin Kennedy