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Contraception & HIV Prevention in a Single Product: CAMI receives $1M Gates Foundation Grant

August 29, 2013

Sacramento, CA: Breakthrough technologies that will enable women to better control fertility and simultaneously protect themselves and their families from HIV and other STIs are finally on the horizon. CAMI, (Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations), has received a one million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their international work coordinating the development and availability of products that provide contraception while preventing HIV and other STIs.
With 86 million unintended pregnancies and 2.7 million new HIV infections around the world each year, introduction of new women-controlled contraceptive methods that also prevent HIV and STIs will have a dramatic global impact on women's health.
CAMI, a project of the Public Health Institute (PHI), plays a unique role as the coordinator of the international effort of researchers, developers, advocates and industry to develop and bring these new technologies to market. CAMI's partners include the US Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, Mary Wohlford Foundation and the World Health Organization, as well as reproductive health and HIV prevention leaders in China, Europe, Kenya, India, South Africa, the US and a growing number of other countries around the world. CAMI's inclusive approach brings women's concerns and perspectives to the table in all aspects of the product development and delivery processes. For additional information see: www.MPTs101.org 
"Simply put, condoms are not the answer for millions of women around the world," says Bethany Young Holt, PhD, MPH, Executive Director of CAMI. "Now, thanks to the Gates Foundation support, we will be better able to bring together leaders in contraception and HIV prevention who don't regularly talk to each other to speed development of better multipurpose prevention for women. Women around the world depend on it."
Examples of promising comprehensive methods (also known as Multipurpose Prevention Technologies or MPTs) that are farthest along in development are vaginal rings or injectable products that can be configured to protect against both unintended pregnancy and HIV infection.
"MPTs could be the next great wave in sexual and reproductive prevention options for women," said Dr. Judy Manning, Team Lead for Biomedical R&D in the Office of Population & Reproductive Health at USAID, a key supporter of the MPT Initiative. "We are thrilled to have the Gates Foundation supporting this effort to meet prevention needs of women and girls, no matter where they may live."
Condoms, the only dual protection product on the market, were invented centuries ago. "Modern technology has put a man on the moon, given us polio vaccines and the Internet," said Mary Pittman, Executive Director of PHI, "It is time for affordable products that enable millions of women across the world to control how many children they have and to protect themselves from HIV. This grant from the Gates Foundation will help CAMI continue to lead the way."



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