Saving Lives with Multipurpose Prevention Technologies: Turning Ideas Into Solutions for Sexual and Reproductive Health (Report)
2010 | Download
Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are designed to address multiple sexual and reproductive health needs, including prevention of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and/or other reproductive tract infections, such as bacterial vaginosis. Multipurpose products that are acceptable, affordable and widely available would greatly improve health and save resources.
Over the past half-century, the global health community has made great progress in improving women’s reproductive health. In particular, by increasing access to contraception, health care providers have helped millions of couples plan the number and timing of their births. Worldwide contraceptive use has increased dramatically during this time, from 10 percent of the population in the 1960s to nearly 60 percent today.
Despite these gains, however, too many women still have unrecognized and unmet reproductive health needs. Worldwide, an estimated 200 million couples continue to express an unmet need for contraception.1 Persistent unmet need for family planning undermines progress toward all of the human development goals outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the recommendations that emerged from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
Even for couples who have access to contraception and related services, the available options seldom address the full spectrum of risks that can be associated with sexual activity. Women at risk of pregnancy, for example, may also be at risk for reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV.
Safe, acceptable, and affordable technologies that could address these simultaneous sexual and reproductive health needs would improve individual, family, and community health and well being. For this reason, many global health professionals—including researchers, policymakers, product developers, and donors—have begun to intensify their commitment to a new generation of technologies that address multiple prevention objectives.