Friday, February 17, 2012

WHO Refuses to Give Correct Information About Depo Provera

The WHO has issued a statement stating that the injectable and oral versions of hormonal contraceptives, such as Depo Provera, are safe for HIV positive people and those thought to be at risk of being infected with HIV. This is an odd statement to make when they have known for a long time that this form of birth control has been associated with double the risk of transmission from HIV positive women to HIV negative men and double the risk of transmission from HIV positive men to HIV negative women, where the woman is using hormonal contraceptives for birth control.

The HIV industry, and the population control obsessed development industry before them, have always placed controlling the reproductive behavior of people in developing countries above their reproductive rights and safety. Regarding Depo Provera and similar hormonal contraceptives, fatuous arguments about reducing 'unplanned' pregnancies, reducing reproductive health problems and HIV transmission have been used when the very method itself places those using it and their partners at increased risk of being infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

WHO did not make their decision on the basis of a "thorough review of evidence about links between hormonal contraceptive use and HIV acquisition"; they held their 'high-level' meeting in private and compelled all those attending to sign a confidentiality agreement, a gagging order. The thorough review would have taken, by their own admission elsewhere, several years to complete. Why the secrecy? Why the deceit? Who has an interest in putting the health and lives of millions of adults and children in Africa at risk? Is this a commercial decision, a political one, a combination or something far more sinister?

Reminiscent of the 'advice' given to African men who have been duped into being circumcised, ostensibly to reduce the probability of being infected with HIV (even though they may be far more likely to transmit the virus as a result), the WHO statement reminds people that Depo Provera and similar need to be used with condoms. However, we know condoms work; why not just use condoms, or perhaps condoms in conjunction with a method that is not harmful? If condoms don't work, why advise the use of a hormonal contraceptive that very likely increases transmission in both directions (or an operation that does little good and a lot of harm?)? We know that Depo Provera use is associated with reduce condom use, but condoms prevent conception and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV and many others.

What is the point of WHO now that they have shown that they do not represent the interests of ordinary women, particularly poor women; the vast majority of Depo Provera users are in sub-Saharan Africa? What about all the NGOs who have creamed off the billions of dollars of HIV money over the last thirty years to promulgate their eugenic policies? Because eugenic is what they are; if you're poor, have fewer children. People need advice, support and information, accurate, reliable information. Otherwise NGOs, WHO, UNAIDS (see UNAIDS' statement on Depo Provera) and the like are pursuing their own agenda, regardless of the interests of those they purport to serve.

Through the administrative fog generated by these grotesquely overfunded institutions, little is clear about Depo Provera except that the above institutions can not be trusted. If you want to advice, you'll have to carry out your own research, but start somewhere else; the very bodies tasked with informing people have failed, indeed, have refused to publicly discuss the information that is available to them. Judge their statements by that failure and refusal. There has never been a better time for African countries to distance themselves from those who see Africans as mere instruments in the agenda of money-making and empire building.

[There are links to some more reliable information on injectable contraception on the Don't Get Stuck With HIV website and blog. More will be made available in the coming days.]



Anonymous said...

Very shocking stuff. I always knew that hormonal contraceptives are poison so my wife doesn't use them. She uses the coil. Is that okay?

Rich and middle class Africans have a higher HIV prevalence rate than poor Africans.

Is it because the poor are less likely to use unsanitary healthcare facilities and hormonal contraceptives than the middle class and rich?

Middle class in Africa is defined as a daily income of $2-$20.

This is hardly enough to afford a sanitary hospital with a bed rate of $80+ a day.

Simon said...

Thank you for your comments. I believe hormonal contraceptives have a colorful history but the injectibles have long been suspect. Yet they are foisted on Africans and poor, often African-American people in the US without the same pressure to use them being brought to bear on populations in other countries.

I don't believe women should be told not to use hormonal contraceptives. But they should be told what is known about them, even if that doesn't suit Big Pharma and the big NGOs, some of whom would cease to exist if the population control theory of development was thrown where it should be, in the bin.

I am not in a position to advise about contraception methods but there is advise about various methods as they relate to health care risks for HIV on the Don't Get Stuck With HIV website:

You're right about wealthier Africans often being more likely to be HIV positive. But I think that middle class definition was based on a confusion; those on $2 or more are not defined as below the poverty line. Calling them middle class on the basis that they are not living below the poverty line is perverse. Perhaps The Economist screwed up in their analysis and then refused to admit their mistake.

It is possible that poorer people in countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania rarely visit health services. That was certainly the case in the 80s and 90s, when HIV transmission rates were very high. Similarly, access to health facilities in very high prevalence countries, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, etc, has been far higher in the past, I'm not sure if that's still the case.

But those are issues that need to be investigated!

Simon said...

Sorry, problem with connection so can't get the page I want but the Don't Get Stuck website is here:

The contraception section is under the Healthcare section.

Anonymous said...

"Today I have handled five caesarean cases in about 12 hours."

Your comments?

Simon said...

Thank you, Anonymous, it's interesting to know how private health providers are viewing the strike; it is possible they are using it as an exercise to show how virtuous they are, compared to their public sector health providers.

It would be far more interesting to see how public sector health providers are able to carry out their day to day work, given lack of facilities, supplies, personnel and training, under what are normal circumstances, however terrible.

Of course, the private health sector may not be quite as virtuous as they give themselves credit for being in that article. If there are unsafe practices in public sector hospitals, there are probably unsafe practices in private hospitals. Have a look at the Service Provision Assessment that I link to in the article.