Public Release: 

Contraceptives and the poor; plus new findings on cryptococcosis

Poorest members of society in developing countries still the least likely to use contraception

PLOS

Analysis of survey data from 55 developing countries has shown that, although the use of contraception is increasing, its use by the poorest people remains low. A 'contraceptive gap' separates the very poor from the rest of society.

It was already well known that rates of use of modern contraceptives have risen over several decades, but it was not clear whether this was true for all socio-economic groups. In research published in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine, researchers based in the and at World Health Organization HQ in Geneva brought together data from over 100 health and population surveys. They found that the contraceptive gap has remained over the years (and in some cases grown wider), even as the overall wealth of the countries (based on Gross Domestic Product) has risen.

However, a rise in GDP does not mean that family planning services automatically become more accessible to everyone. The authors say their findings show that governments and international health organizations need to focus their attention on providing contraceptive services in a way that will reach people who have very low incomes.

The researchers noted strong regional variations, with the lowest national rates of contraceptive use found in sub-Saharan Africa. Use among the poor was highest in South and Southeast Asia, and the largest inequalities in use were found in Latin America .

In a commentary published in the same issue of PLoS Medicine, Professor Duff Gillespie of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health says the new findings are important. He asks whether the lower use of modern contraceptives among is the poor due to a lack of desire for contraceptives, or because they do not have access to family planning services. He supports the view that the family planning needs of the poorest have yet to be adequately met.

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* * * * * * * * EMBARGO: MONDAY, 6 February, 5 P.M. PST * * * * * * *

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All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use--subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Citation: Gakidou E, Vayena E (2007) Use of modern contraception by the poor is falling behind. PLoS Med 4(2): e31. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040031

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040031

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-gakidou.pdf

CONTACT:
Emmanuela Gakidou
Harvard University
Initiative for Global Health
104 Mt. Auburn Street, 3rd floor
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States of America
+1 617 495 8045
+1 617 495 8231 (fax)
egakidou@latte.harvard.edu

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective article: Citation: Gillespie D (2007) Contraceptive use and the poor: A matter of choice? PLoS Med 4(2): e49.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040049

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-gillespie.pdf

CONTACT:
Duff Gillespie
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Population and Reproductive Health
615 N. Wolfe Street, Suite W4041
Baltimore, MD 21205 United States of America
+1 410 502 0696
+1 410 955-0792 (fax)
dgillesp@jhsph.edu

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THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH ARTICLE WILL ALSO BE PUBLISHED ONLINE:

Determinants of Disease Presentation and Outcome during Cryptococcosis: The CryptoA/D Study

Françoise Dromer and colleagues report that sex, HIV status, and infecting serotype are major determinants of cryptococcosis presentation and outcome. Citation: Dromer F, Mathoulin-Pélissier S, Launay O, Lortholary O, French Cryptococcus Study Group (2007) Determinants of disease presentation and outcome during cryptococcosis: The CryptoA/D Study. PLoS Med 4(2): e21.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040021

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-dromer.pdf

Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-dromer.jpg

- Caption: Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain during cryptococcosis in an HIV-positive patient: dilated Virchow-Robin perivascular spaces can be seen in the basal ganglia (T2 sequence)

CONTACT:
Françoise Dromer
Pasteur Institute
Unite de Mycologie Moleculaire, centre national de Reference Mycologie et Antifongiques
25 rue du Dr. Roux
Paris, 75015 France
+ 33 1 40 61 33 89
+ 33 1 45 68 84 20 (fax)
dromer@pasteur.fr

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective article:

John Perfect discusses the implications of the national prospective study (the Crypto A/D Study) of the factors influencing clinical presentation and outcome of patients with cryptococcosis.

Citation: Perfect JR (2007) Management of cryptococcosis: How are we doing? PLoS Med 4(2): e47.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040047

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-perfect.pdf

Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-02-perfect.jpg

- Caption: Cryptococcosis of the Lung in a Patient with AIDS. Histopathology of lung shows widened alveolar septum containing a few inflammatory cells and numerous yeasts of Cryptococcus neoformans. The inner layer of the yeast capsule stains red. Cryptococcosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is transmitted through inhalation of airborne yeast cells and/or biospores. At risk are the immunocompromised, especially those with HIV infection. Photo: CDC/Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

CONTACT:
John Perfect
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC, United States of America
+1 919 684 4016
+1 919 684 8902 (fax)
Perfe001@mc.duke.edu

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