Objective: To assess the association between hormonal contraceptive use and HIV progression.
Design: A retrospective analysis of 625 female HIV seroconverters from a Ugandan cohort study.
Methods: Multivariate Cox regression analyses incorporating time-varying hormonal contraceptive exposure were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios of death, and a composite outcome of AIDS or death, associated with hormonal contraceptive use. Sensitivity analyses included lagging hormonal contraceptive exposure, varying comparison groups, and separately assessing effects of oral and injectable contraceptives.
Results: A total of 27.5% of women reported ever using hormonal contraception. Of 625 women, 104 (16.6%) died and 291 (46.6%) progressed to AIDS or death during observation. Time-varying hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with an increased hazard of death as compared with nonuse of hormonal contraception (adjusted hazard ratio 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.41–1.39, P = 0.37), and was associated with a significantly reduced hazard of progression to AIDS or death (adjusted hazard ratio 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.50–0.97, P = 0.03). None of the sensitivity analyses suggested an adverse effect of hormonal contraception on HIV progression.
Conclusion: Hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with faster progression to death, and was associated with a reduced hazard of progression to the composite outcome of AIDS or death.