The Power of MPTs: Combining Prevention of HIV, other STIs, and Pregnancy

Session Date: April 22, 2021

Session Description: Women’s need for contraception and their HIV risk are often interlinked and fluctuate throughout life stages and cultural contexts. Meeting women’s unique reproductive health needs requires comprehensive prevention options, while the development and rollout of such options requires innovative collaboration. Building on decades of HIV, STI, and contraceptive research, the multipurpose prevention technologies (MPT) field launched in 2009 to develop single products with multiple health indications. MPTs deliver varied combinations of contraception and HIV/STI prevention to reduce infection rates and unintended pregnancy. There are now over two dozen MPTs in development, numerous publications on MPTs, MPT funding streams, and MPT language endorsed by global health authorities, like WHO and UNAIDS. Despite MPTs being one of the fastest growing fields in women’s health and their potential to revolutionize preventive options, the field faces technical, market, and resource challenges. Condoms remain the only available MPT, with all other promising product candidates yet to reach the hands of women. Achieving the potential impact of MPTs requires engaging in new partnerships to expand the MPT community, increasing collaboration to maximize scientific and resource capacities, and new funders to increase financial support for the field.