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The Hormone Progesterone
Has a Role in Simian AIDS

Summer 1996

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

The sex hormone progesterone, which is especially prevalent in the second half of the menstrual cycle, has been shown to make female monkeys much more vulnerable to SIV, the monkey version of HIV.

Two contraceptives, the implant Norplant, and Depo Provera, which is injected contain progesterone.

Reports indicate that 14 out of 18 monkeys given the hormone became infected with SIV, compared to just 1 of 10 monkeys that did not receive the hormone.

The findings are not necessarily applicable to humans, but experts say the results support earlier theories linking hormone levels and susceptibility to HIV infection.

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The National Institute of Child Health Development is also investigating whether the issue of hormonal contraceptives increases HIV risk. The agency recently reported that the physical effects of hormonal contraceptives may affect HIV transmission. "Women might be more susceptible during menses, after menopause, or if they are on hormonal contraceptives." said Pamela Stratton, an NICHD researcher.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.
 
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What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
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