The All-In-One Solution to Sexual Health Is On Its Way
The current sexual and reproductive prevention methods have significantly improved the health and well-being of women and their families. But this is not enough. Worldwide each year there are still 85 million unplanned pregnancies, 21.6 million unsafe abortions, and nearly 300 000 maternal deaths from complications related to pregnancy and birth.
HIV remains the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden. While anti-retroviral drugs are effective treatments, half of the women living with HIV in resource-limited settings can’t access them. And women’s HIV prevention technologies remain limited. Their use is often outside a woman’s sphere of control.
Enabling women to maintain good reproductive health requires innovative and improved prevention technologies. A revolutionary class of women’s sexual and reproductive health prevention products is being developed and may prove to be the linchpin to achieve the sustainable development goals that relate to women’s health.
Multipurpose Prevention Technologies, more commonly known as MPTs, are a new class of product in development. They deliver varying method combinations to simultaneously prevent HIV, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
Although these technologies are complicated to develop, they are technically feasible. Since the field was launched six years ago, it has evolved from an innovative concept. Currently there are over 20 products being developed with nearly a dozen products in clinical trials.
New methods of prevention
There are many forms of innovative technologies being developed. Some combine contraception with prevention from sexually transmitted infections while others provide women who want to get pregnant with protection from HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Many do so in discrete forms that do not require partner negotiation. Some are designed to be used just before or at the time of a sexual encounter while others are long-acting products.
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