The ECHO Consortium is pleased to announce that the Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study has begun recruiting and screening potential participants in South Africa at the Wits RHI site, located in Hillbrow, Johannesburg and the MatCH Research Commercial City site located in Durban.

The ECHO Study is designed to fill a critical information gap, delivering evidence to support and guide decisions about contraception for women at risk of HIV infection. An open-label randomised clinical trial, ECHO will compare three highly effective, reversible methods of contraception to evaluate whether there is a link between use of any of these methods and increased risk of acquiring HIV infection.

Women interested in joining the study will go through an informed consent process, where they will learn about the study procedures and the risks and benefits of participating. The women who decide to enrol will be randomly assigned by computer to receive one of three contraceptives: DMPA, the Jadelle implant or the copper IUD.

The Wits RHI site is the first of 12 sites to begin screening potential participants. About 7,800 women will be enroled at sites in Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, with results expected in 2018.

Photo: Community awareness outreach event, Marlven, South Africa. Credit: Emmanuel Mthalane, Wits RHI

ECHO Study Begins!