By Lisa Correnti, C-Fam
Lawyers for US agencies have failed in an initial attempt to force a watchdog group to remove leaked documents from the group’s website. The documents describe studies showing complications of a long-lasting contraception heavily backed by the agencies and the Gates Foundation for use by African women.
The US agencies are accused of attempting to conceal their knowledge of studies showing women using the injectable contraceptive Depo Provera are at higher risk of acquiring HIV.
Allowing The Rebecca Project to publish the information means “this issue of Depo Provera’s harm now has to be decided in a court of law where a judge will review scientific and social research data,” Kwame Fosu, the group’s policy director, told the Friday Fax.
The US Agency of International Development (USAID) and the Gates Foundation have spent millions of dollars to increase injectable contraceptive use among women in high-HIV communities in sub-Sahara Africa.
Legal representatives for USAID and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) filed a copyright infringement complaint to force The Rebecca Project to remove classified documents from its website. The documents were used at a closed-door meeting in Geneva of the World Health Organization, USAID, CDC, and Gates officials.
The meeting convened shortly after the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal published a study by Dr. Renee Heffron. It indicated women using Depo Provera had an increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.