The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) has released a new framework to guide those working in HIV or family planning to communicate effectively about the potential risks certain hormonal contraceptives may have for women at risk of HIV.
Some studies have pointed to a link between progestogen-only injectables and an increased risk of acquiring HIV, while other studies found no risk. Research is ongoing around this issue to determine if there is truly an increased risk.
While the question of whether these contraceptives should be used by women at high risk for HIV infection remains unresolved, guidance is needed on how to discuss contraceptive choices for those women.
The Strategic Communication Framework for Hormonal Contraceptive Methods and Potential HIV-Related Risks is designed for country-based stakeholders to tackle this tough issue and should be adapted to a country’s individual context. It can help countries develop communication strategies on how to discuss this issue of hormonal contraception with a variety of audiences, including providers, women and their partners.
To date both Malawi and Swaziland have adapted the Framework for their country and HC3, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in each country, is currently pre-testing communication materials that were developed from the strategies.