Hormonal Contraceptives and HIV (HCH) Study

Project Name:

Examining the impact of hormonal contraceptives on innate anti-viral responses in the blood of HIV positive and negative African-Caribbean women

Funding Dates:



Principal Investigators:

Charu Kaushic* ('McMaster U), Wangari Tharao* (WHIWH & ACCHO)


To compare the effects of Depo-Provera and oral hormonal-based contraceptives on innate antiviral response in the blood of HIV+ and HIV- ACB women.

Purpose and Objectives:

This study will examine if hormonal-based contraceptives (HC) may change a woman’s ability to fight viral infections (such as HIV) by decreasing the body’s usual defenses against viruses (anti-viral). The study will prove whether and which HCs increases the risk of acquiring HIV, then make recommendations that can be applied in clinical practice, allowing women and their physicians to make informed choices about safe HCs. To examine the potential immune basis for increased susceptibility to viral infections, based on hormonal contraceptive usage. To recruit a total of 80 ACB women in the following categories: 10 HIV-negative women on oral contraceptives, 10 HIV-negative women on Depo-Provera, 10 HIV-negative women on other forms of hormonal contraceptives, 10 HIV-negative women on no hormonal contraceptives, 10 HIV-positive women on oral contraceptives, 10 HIV-positive women on Depo-Provera, 10 HIV-positive women on other forms of hormonal contraceptives, 10 HIV-positive women on no hormonal contraceptives.


Quantitative clinical research. If participants consent to participating in the study, they will fill out a questionnaire about their medical and social histories. Following the questionnaire, 4 tubes (40ml) of blood will be drawn from each participant, which will then be packaged and shipped to McMaster University for processing and analysis.


ACB women in Toronto area who are using birth control OR Depo-Provera injections


GTA & Hamilton

Start and End Date:

2011 - 2017



Project Indicators and Outcomes:

Funding Sources: