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Popular contraceptive doubles HIV risk in Africa, Vatican newspaper notes

Catholic World News - October 11, 2011

International family-planning groups continue to distribute the contraceptive Depo-Provera in Africa, despite new evidence that the drug doubles women’s risks of contracting the HIV virus, the Vatican newspaper notes.

The continued promotion of Depo-Provera by international groups, argues L’Osservatore Romano is: “Confirmation that the health of women in the third world is not their first priority.”

The British medical journal Lancet has reported the results of a study funded by the Gates Foundation, showing the sharply increased risk of HIV infection among women injected with Depo-Provera. The contraceptive has been administered to 12 million African women.

Especially because HIV infection rates are high in Africa, L’Osservatore Romano notes that many experts find it “scandalous” that groups such as the World Health Organization have not issued a warning about the drug.

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