Integrating FP & HIV Services
The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study is a clinical trial that compares three highly effective, reversible methods of contraception—the progestogen-only injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), a progestogen implant called Jadelle, and the copper intrauterine device (IUD)—to evaluate whether there is any difference in the risk of HIV acquisition among women using these methods. The study will also compare side effects, pregnancy rates, and women’s patterns of use for the three contraceptive methods.
The ECHO study was conducted in eSwatini, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia. Women in the study were randomly assigned to one of the three contraceptive methods, though participants had the right to refuse randomization. All participants received counseling on contraceptive and HIV prevention.
The ECHO study findings were released on June 13, 2019.
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Endorse the Statement
Women and girls must have the information, knowledge, and ability to make the best choices for themselves about their sexual and reproductive lives. Women and girls at increased risk of acquiring HIV are no exception. When a woman can choose effective contraceptive methods, she is put in control of her reproductive health and can better protect herself from HIV, and live a happier, healthier life.
As we await the results of the Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) trial, we, the undersigned, know that evidence must guide all efforts to provide better health for women, girls, and their families. The ECHO clinical trial was designed to do just that – by comparing three common methods of contraceptives and whether any of them increase the risk of acquiring HIV among women and girls at high risk.
We look forward to the evidence from the ECHO trial that will inform the decisions that women and girls make.
Each woman and girl must have the ability to choose the contraceptive method that works best for her, and receive the counseling she needs to weigh her own risks. Women weigh risks and benefits all the time; decisions about contraceptives must never be made for them.
As we await the ECHO results – and into the future – we must all strive to ensure that even more options – and the highest quality counseling – are available to all women and girls who seek to prevent both pregnancy and HIV infection. Putting women and girls at the center is our goal.