We could be just months away from knowing whether Depo-Provera use is linked to a higher risk of HIV infection in women. For more than a decade, obstetrician Coceka Mnyani’s conversations with her patients followed a script.
Had they used contraceptives before? Did they want more children? What contraceptive did they plan on using after delivery and why?
“Depending on what a woman said, you would advise, you know, ‘that’s not such a great idea, have you thought about this’, ‘maybe this one would be a better option’,” Mnyani says.
“You’ve got this woman who has just had a baby, who’s tired, who has a crying infant — is she going to remember to take a pill every day?”
Health department data shows that most South African women visiting a public health facility for free contraception will leave with a shot of the three-month contraception depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, which is most commonly sold under the name Depo-Provera. T