Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study

Source
ECHO Consortium
Date of Publication
2018

The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study is an open-label randomized clinical trial that aims to compare three highly effective, reversible methods of contraception—the progestogen-only injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), a progestogen implant called Jadelle and the copper intrauterine device (IUD) — to evaluate whether there is any difference in the risk of HIV acquisition among women using these methods.

The study will also compare side effects, pregnancy rates and women’s patterns of use for the three contraceptive methods.

The study bases its creation on the idea that a randomized trial is the "gold standard" for this type of research.  That is, when women have an equal chance of using any of the three contraceptive methods under study, sexual behaviors and other factors that might influence HIV risk are equally likely to occur across the groups of women who are randomly allocated by computer to use one of the study methods. As a result, with a randomized design, there is more certainty that a true difference in HIV acquisition is being measured and that any differences can be more certainly attributed to the contraceptive method used.