According to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, there is a possible correlation between an increased risk of contracting HIV and the use of a specific type of injectable birth control for females. Depo-Provera is a type of hormonal contraception that is said to increase a female subject's susceptibility to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), increasing her potential to transmit and contract the virus by up to 30 percent.

Although representatives from the WHO have already declared the safety of this birth control method on numerous occasions, the agency also strongly recommends that women who choose this method also employ other means to prevent HIV infections such as the use of condoms during intercourse. They added that this does not mean that this particular contraception method must be abandoned.

The study's lead author Lauren Ralph explained that, "Although we do observe a moderately increased risk of HIV among Depro users, we don't feel our findings justify the withdrawal of Depro in most settings worldwide. Banning Depro would leave many women without access to contraception and, because childbirth remains life-threatening many places, this could increase the overall number of deaths among women."

The study also outlined facts about how there were no increased incidences of HIV cases with other injectable contraceptive preparations such as NET-EN or norethisterone enanthate. Ralph suggested that the results of this study could ultimately help other researchers to determine the effects of eliminating injectable birth control programs in relation to maternal deaths and overall HIV infections.

The results produced by this study comes at what other researchers are calling a crucial time for this topic as more women in certain regions of the world die from childbirth because they do not have access to proper birth control methods. On the other hand, others who continue to use this birth control method are becoming more probable victims to a life-threatening virus. Despite all this, however, the scientific community is still conflicted about the morality of conducting clinical trials on such a sensitive subject. Dr. Christopher Colvin from the University of Cape Town said, "Ultimately, it may be that a trial adds an important layer to our evidence that points us in a clearer direction but it isn't likely to suddenly answer all of our questions. We need to be thinking about all of the evidence at the same time, and all of the different decisions we need to make now and in the future."

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