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Update to U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2016: Updated Recommendations for the Use of Contraception Among Women at High Risk for HIV Infection
  • Published Date:
    April 10 2020
  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 69(14):405-410
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-101.73 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    "U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use" (U.S. MEC) 2016 provides evidence-based guidance for the safe use of contraceptive methods among U.S. women with certain characteristics or medical conditions (1). The U.S. MEC is adapted from global guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and kept up to date through continual review of published literature (1). CDC recently evaluated the evidence and the updated WHO guidance on the risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition among women using hormonal contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs) (2). After careful review, CDC adopted WHO's 2019 updated guidance for inclusion in the U.S. MEC guidance; CDC's updated guidance states that progestin-only injectable contraception (including depot medroxyprogesterone acetate [DMPA]) and IUDs (including levonorgestrel-releasing and copper-bearing) are safe for use without restriction among women at high risk for HIV infection (U.S. MEC category 1 [previously U.S. MEC category 2, advantages outweigh risks]) (Box). CDC's guidance also adds an accompanying clarification for women who wish to use IUDs, which states "Many women at a high risk for HIV infection are also at risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). For these women, refer to the recommendations in the 'U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use' for women with other factors related to STDs, and the 'U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use' on STD screening before IUD insertion" (1,3). Recommendations for other hormonal contraceptive methods (including combined hormonal methods, implants, and progestin-only pills) remain the same; there is also no restriction for their use among women at high risk for HIV infection (U.S. MEC category 1). Finally, CDC clarified that the U.S. MEC recommendations for concurrent use of hormonal contraceptives or IUDs and antiretroviral use for treatment of HIV infection also apply to use of antiretrovirals for prevention of HIV acquisition (preexposure prophylaxis [PrEP]).

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