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A Strategic Action Framework for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies Combining Contraceptive Hormones and Antiretroviral Drugs to Prevent Pregnancy

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Objective

Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are an innovative class of products that deliver varied combinations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, other sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, and contraception. Combining separate strategies for different indications into singular prevention products can reduce the stigma around HIV and STI prevention, improve acceptability of and adherence to more convenient products, and be more cost-effective by addressing overlapping risks.

Methods

This article outlines a strategic action framework developed as an outcome of a series of expert meetings held between 2014 and 2016. The meetings focused on identifying opportunities and challenges for MPTs that combine hormonal contraception (HC) with antiretroviral drugs into single products. The framework aims to present an actionable strategy, by addressing key research gaps and outlining the key areas for progress, to guide current and future HC MPT development.

Results

We identified eight primary action areas for the development of impactful HC MPTs, and includes aspects from epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical trial design, regulatory requirements, manufacturing and commercialization, behavioral science, and investment needs for research and development.

Conclusion

Overall, the challenges involved with reconciling the critical social-behavioral context that will drive MPT product use and uptake with the complexities of research and development and regulatory approval are of paramount importance. To realize the potential of MPTs given their complexity and finite resources, researchers in the MPT field must be strategic about the way forward; increased support among policy-makers, advocates, funders and the pharmaceutical industry is critical.

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PHI’s CAMI Health is an organization dedicated to improving the health of women and girls worldwide. With sixteen years of related experience, we address complex global health problems impacting women and their families by building and leading learning networks. As network leader, CAMI Health fosters collaborations, manages knowledge, and sets priorities for action. CAMI Health exemplifies this mechanism serving as Secretariat to the Initiative for MPTs (IMPT), a network built to advance the field of multipurpose prevention technologies or MPTs. MPTs are an innovative class of products that deliver varied combinations of HIV prevention, other STI prevention, and contraception and have the potential to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide.


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