The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) trial is now complete and results were released on 13 June 2019. This was a randomized, multi-centre, open-label clinical trial. It involved approximately 7000 women in sub-Saharan Africa and investigated the potential link between DMPA-IM, the Implant and the Copper IUD and increased risk of HIV susceptibility in women in countries of high HIV risk. The results demonstrate that there is no significant difference between the three contraceptive methods and HIV incidence. This is hugely encouraging, however the numbers of women still contracting HIV, regardless of their contraceptive method of choice, remains at unacceptable levels.
The ECHO trial finally bridges gaps in data and research relating to contraceptive use and risk of HIV, in particular for DMPA-IM which is the most used method in sub-Saharan Africa. These results are of significant importance to Concept Foundation’s ongoing activities towards increasing access to quality assured, affordable contraception and its current projects focusing on increasing access to generic DMPA-IM and DMPA-SC in high need countries. The full results have been published in the Lancet.