A report back on Deb Bateson, Moira Wilson, Rachael Dunn and Diane Lloyd's presentation HIV&AIDS symposium 19, HIV and women across the reproductive lifespan and beyond
Wednesday afternoon saw the first session specifically for women living with HIV. The small meeting room was overflowing with every seat taken with not even standing room left. Diane Lloyd spoke of women’s invisibility during her 33 years of living with HIV in Australia and her point wasn’t lost on the audience. Deborah Bateson opened the session with a discussion of contraception choices for women living with HIV. While all methods are potentially suitable, interactions with enzyme inducing ARVs can cause issues with oral contraceptive pills and may lead to increased method failure. This can also cause a problem with levonorgestrel emergency contraception requiring a double dose. There was eager anticipation of the results of the ECHO trial from South Africa released in June this year which didn’t find any increase in HIV acquisition for women with the use of injectable progesterone contracepton despite years of concern.