Stakeholders in the health sector have embarked on an intensive research to determine the validity of claims that injectable contraceptives increase the chances of women contracting HIV and Aids.
A study that was carried out by the researchers from University of Washington revealed that, the use of injectable contraceptives particularly the Depo Provera which is popular with women in Eastern and Southern Africa doubles the risk of becoming infected with HIV.
When it is used by HIV positive women, it also doubles the risk they will infect their male partners.
However, Zimbabwe is still to come up with a clear position concerning the claims.
In an interview, the Assistant Director for the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council, Mrs. Margaret Butau said they are working together with the World Health Organization (WHO) in coming up with an authentic position and have advised women not to panic but to continue using the contraceptives together with other preventive methods such as condoms.
The study involved nearly 4000 heterosexual couples from sub-Saharan Africa.
In each couple, either the man or the woman was already infected with HIV.
The researchers tested the couples for HIV over a two-year period.
The results showed that non-infected women using the Depo-Provera contraceptive had double the risk of getting HIV.
And the healthy men whose female partners had HIV were twice as likely to become infected.