UNAIDS Report has Bold Vision, Key Messages—But Needs More Precision on HIV Prevention

UNAIDS recently released Fast Track: Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, its report for World AIDS Day (December 1, 2014). Coming nearly two weeks early, the launch was, itself, fast-tracked—and there’s plenty of “we can’t wait” urgency within the pages of the report, starting with the first page (that does more, typographically, with red ribbons than you might believe is possible). It reads:

“We have bent the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. Now we have five years to break the epidemic or we risk the epidemic springing back even stronger.”

This is on target and a message to convey urgently and with clarity. UNAIDS has its work cut out as an agency that can provide leadership, mobilize resources and push for the shift to community-based service delivery that emerges as one of the core recommendations in the report.

In broad strokes, it’s the right message, with the right vision, at the right time.

But an effective response depends on strategy, details, milestones, resources and specifics—and these are still lacking. This is to be expected, as the UNAIDS Prevention and Non-Discrimination Targets are still in draft form.

The Fast Track World AIDS Day report is clear on what needs to happen to achieve the “90-90-90” goal that calls for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of those to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90 percent of those to be virologically suppressed by 2020.

It also suggests the components of prevention programming that should also come on line—listing, in various places, male and female condoms, voluntary medical male circumcision, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for sex workers, men who have sex with men, serodiscordant couples and adolescents, as well as cash transfers for young girls, harm reduction, structural interventions, mass media and behavior change. These prevention elements appear in different subsets throughout the document, leaving some confusion about what, exactly, is essential.

Everything that the UNAIDS report lists is important. But the details of what goes where—which packages, in which places—and what specific terms mean are missing. Cash transfers, for example, can be delivered in a range of ways, with different objectives and different outcomes.

There are also some elements that receive considerably less emphasis. Research and development of more potent ARVs for treatment and prevention, new prevention options for women and other key populations, vaccine and cure strategies, are fundamental to long-term success in “breaking the epidemic”. Within the five-year timeframe set by UNAIDS, there are short-term milestones to set and achieve in each of these areas, even though the ultimate goals may not be reached for many years.

The good news is that this is a solvable problem. We as advocates and activists must use our impatience and collective wisdom to fast-track a process to ensure that clear targets, resources and messages are developed with the same strategy, rigor and urgency as 90-90-90.

AVAC is working with many of our partners to inform this process. This new report adds urgency to this task and clarity to the questions we need to address. As the report stresses, we must all “hold one another accountable for results and make sure no one is left behind.”

In the coming days, AVAC will release “Prevention on the Line”—a briefing paper with core recommendations for effective target-setting across the research-to-rollout continuum. This will summarize core messages and analysis that will be expanded in AVAC Report 2014/15. To receive the Report and other updates in your inbox, please join our Advocates’ Network. Stay tuned—and stay in touch.

Click here to download the new UNAIDS report.

CDC Emphasizes the Need for Viral Suppression

In anticipation of World AIDS Day on Monday, the CDC released a factsheet and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) highlighting the need for viral suppression in the US. This emphasis on strengthening the care continuum is part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ongoing strategy of High Impact Prevention (HIP). HIP is part operating philosophy, part implementation strategy and overall a new way of looking at an old problem—prevent new HIV infections. HIP aims to utilize resources in the best way possible placing them in programs that will have the most impact. In many cases, this emphasizes getting HIV-positive individuals to achieve viral suppression so they greatly reduce the chances of transmitting to an HIV-negative partner.

All of the Vital Signs material report surveillance data from 2011 when the US had 1.2 million people living with HIV but only 360,000 (30%) virally suppressed. When data was disaggregated by age it showed that only 13% of young people (18-24) living with HIV made it to viral suppression. This is particularly troubling since young Black and Latino MSM have the highest rates of new infections. These numbers overall illustrate the gaps between HIV testing and consistent access and adherence to daily treatment. The Vital Signs materials provide an at-a-glance look at the problems faced in HIV treatment and provides evidence for the need to focus prevention dollars on people living with HIV.

The release of this information also coincides with the closing of the CDC’s most recent funding announcement P15-1502. This funding announcement will be the first to link funding dollars to the identification of HIV positive individuals. Grantees will receive as much as $200,000 for every 19-24 new infections. The grant also calls for organizations to develop and implement “a high impact HIV prevention program with HIV positive individuals”.

The new information released by the CDC reinforces the need for gap tightening within the care continuum and the continued focused on HIV-positive individuals for HIV prevention.

As World AIDS Day Approaches: A sad day for LGBT rights in Africa

AVAC Policy and Program Assistant Micheal Ighodaro is a Nigerian-born LGBT advocate and activist, reflecting here on the core challenges to human rights and dignity embodied in legislation that criminalizes homosexuality and HIV status.

As the world prepares to mark this year’s World AIDS Day next Monday, December 1st, we should celebrate our achievements and also recognize the many setbacks that we have to deal with to achieve a world truly free of AIDS.

We know that human rights are fundamental to an effective HIV response—and to the health of all people, everywhere. Yet there continue to be serious attacks on these rights.

Just last week President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia, signed a bill into law that can impose life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. The new law focuses on “aggravated homosexuality”, a term borrowed from the Ugandan bill that passed earlier this year and was recently overturned on procedural grounds.

The Gambian law targets “serial offenders” and people living with HIV or AIDS. The law also criminalizes the parent or guardian of homosexuals—holding those “in authority over” minors liable for their behavior. People found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” can be sentenced to life in prison.

This year during the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, an abstract presentation on a research study conducted with gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Gambia showed evidence that, as in other West Africa countries, MSM in the Gambia are an underserved population at high risk of HIV and lack sufficient HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. The study found that 20 of the 205 men (9.8%) in the study were HIV-positive, with the highest prevalence in men older than 25 (22.9%, 8 of 35 men). UNAIDS estimates that Gambia has an overall HIV prevalence of 1.3% among 15- to 49-year-olds.

This new law will jeopardize the health and well-being of LGBT individuals in the Gambia. In every country where this type of legislation has passed, there are reports of MSM avoiding health services, including HIV testing, treatment and prevention. And always there’s the ongoing risk of violence from police, family, community—that puts everyone’s life in danger. There are already more than 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that criminalize homosexual activity.

Earlier this year, Nigeria passed a similar law  mandating a 14-year prison sentence for anyone entering a same-sex union, and a 10-year term for a person or group supporting gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings. Public displays of affection by gay men and lesbians are also illegal. There are also ongoing concerns that the recently overturned Ugandan law will be brought up again in Parliament.

Civil society groups and AIDS and LGBT activists around the world have been working to change attitudes and laws that hurt people and public health. This work cuts across agendas of human rights, HIV, law and health. It is fundamental to biomedical prevention. In a video interview earlier this year, AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren spoke about the excitement in HIV prevention science and the lack of progress on rights.

The elegance of the science is remarkable, but even if everything happened exactly right scientifically, if we don’t deal with that fundamental reality of stigma, discrimination, criminalization, we will never end the epidemic. And that’s what the challenge is.

This is our collective challenge.  All the targets and great tools that we have will all amount to nothing if we don’t address the growing homophobia manifested by antigay laws in Africa and elsewhere around teh world.

There are challenges to figuring out how to take action—especially for advocates and activists working outside of the countries where these laws are being passed. I myself now work and live in the United States—and am working with groups here to develop strategic responses in solidarity with and support of the agendas of my African brothers and sisters fighting these laws on the ground.

As soon as the law passed, I reached out to Fatou Camara, a former press secretary for the president of the Gambia, who now lives in the US. As the US State Department referenced earlier today, Camara has reported that several gay men have already been arrested and held under this new law, without being charged with an offense. Ms. Camara said the focus should be on getting those arrested out of custody and providing legal support to activists on the ground. Over the long term, it will be key to support activists on the ground to organize and challenge the law constitutionally.

As we approach World AIDS Day, our thoughts are with the LGBT community in Gambia. Today I ask the AIDS community to stop and reflect and think about the LGBT community in Gambia, Uganda, Nigeria and other parts of the world where laws like this are springing up. Let’s think about access to fundamental human rights: the right to health, to life, to freedom of expression. All our efforts to end AIDS epidemic in the coming years will all come to nothing if these laws continue.

AVAC has been working with LGBT groups in the US and around the world on ways to create shared agendas for LGBT advocacy and public health. AVAC will continue to advocate for the repeal of laws that hinders access to HIV prevention services for all population. To learn more about what we are doing visit our “Strategic Initiatives” page  and to receive updates in your inbox, please join our Advocates’ Network. Stay tuned—and stay in touch.

Vaginal microbicides: Guidance for industry

Source: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Updates on Multipurpose Prevention Technologies: New Trial, Webinar and Advocacy Voices

CONRAD launches first-ever multipurpose vaginal ring clinical trial; a technology that combines contraception, HIV and herpes prevention. Last week, AVAC and CAMI Health co-hosted a webinar: MPT Acceptability in Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa with researchers from Ipsos who discussed methods and key findings from their market research study. And check out AVAC Fellow Everlyne Ombati’s recent blog post reflecting on conversations on MPTs she had at HIV R4P.

Click here for:

Reporting Back: The Annual Campaign to End AIDS Leadership and Advocacy Summit

Julie Patterson, member of AVAC’s US advocacy program PxROAR, describes highlights and strategies from this year’s C2EA national activist summit in Ohio: The push for state-driven plans to end AIDS and the use of data to inform advocacy.

In October, the annual Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) Leadership and Advocacy Summit convened in Cleveland, Ohio, for four days of activism, networking, mobilization and education. At the outset, the goal of the summit was to create and support alliances and partnerships that will strengthen and mobilize people from all parts of the country within the movement to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic.

C2EA, a national coalition founded by Housing Works, is typically very organic and grassroots with an action focus. This year’s summit was a phenomenal experience – inspiring and visionary. There were many long-term survivors involved, including several who’ve been positive for over 30 years. It was such an honor to be among them. The planning committee and organizers of the summit did an amazing job!

One personal highlight was co-moderating the Thursday morning panel with a C2EA Youth Action Institute leader named Alfredo Smith. We were tasked with introducing the panel and fielding questions. Panelists included: Charles King, Housing Works; Jeffrey Crowley, O’Neill Institute and former Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy in the Obama administration; Patrick Beatty, Ohio AIDS Coalition; Chris Ritter, Ohio activist; and Tracy Jones, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

Alfredo handled responses, and I captured the dialogue on flipcharts entitled, “Where we are now?”, “Where are we going?”, “How will we get there?” and “Next steps?” The panel and C2EA participants bounced back and forth between Ohio and national needs. Also, Mr. King spent a good deal of time introducing the concept of the NY Plan to End AIDS. As a result, he fielded several questions regarding the PrEP component of the plan and did a nice job referencing research as well as anecdotal information. The discussion got a bit heated at one point, especially when one of my friends who works for the American Health Care Foundation, known for its vociferous PrEP skepticism, voiced concerns about Gilead and their profit motive. The audience finally asked the panel to move on to other non-PrEP topics!

At the summit, participants had an opportunity to develop an AIDS-Free Campaign for their respective states. With so many people from Ohio, there was a special emphasis on the needs of our state. Given a new director of the Ohio AIDS Coalition and the momentum from this conference, Ohio needs to pick up the baton and develop a plan to end AIDS in Ohio!

Another personal highlight was the Friday morning session on HIV Prevention Research Advocacy that I co-hosted with Angel Hernandez and Marsha Jones. Angel was very articulate about the PxROAR, a national prevention advocacy group run by AVAC that we three belong to, and spoke quite eloquently about some of the highlighted HIV prevention research advocacy key terms, such as informed consent. Marsha chimed in at various points and always offered a grounded perspective. She also knew the members of the group well enough to keep people on track and civil (when it got heated).

This was a group that was not used to thinking of HIV prevention as a core component of ending the epidemic, so we focused our talk on describing HIV prevention research and implementation advocacy and identifying specific strategies. We also gave a couple of examples of advocacy topics: the impending FACTS 001 microbicide results and the recent early unblinding of the PROUD PrEP study.

There were some old-timers who’d been on community advisory boards (CABs) and in clinical trials for years who helped us to get our messages across. We all emphasized that you don’t have to join trials to have an influence on them. We had to repeat this many times – it was a hard thing for this group of HIV activists to move past.

We encouraged the C2EA participants to think in a new way about the value of data and research to guide their own advocacy goals. There seemed to be a group epiphany that data could help them, so they should try to understand it. We were thrilled!

Young and Restless: POZ 2014 Top 100 Youth List

AVAC joins POZ magazine in celebrating 100 activists under the age of 30. For each of the last five years, POZ has pulled together a “POZ 100” list, honoring some of the outstanding advocates and activists working to end the epidemics. This year’s list focuses on the future—and a new generation of leaders in the response. “Celebrating Youth Power” highlights:

“Unsung heroes under the age of 30 who are taking a stand against HIV/AIDS. These young leaders come from across the country—and around the world. Some are HIV positive and some are HIV negative, which seemed appropriate since everyone, regardless of their HIV status, should be encouraged to join the struggle.”

AVAC is especially proud and privileged to note that 10 members of this year’s list are past or current members of AVAC’s PxROAR and Advocacy Fellows programs.

Check out the full POZ 100 list here.

Advancing HIV Prevention Science: The roads from Cape Town

First appearing on the Lancet, Ken Mayer provides a great summary of the recent HIV R4P Conference.

At the recent HIV Research for Prevention 2014 (HIV R4P) conference in Cape Town, South Africa, almost 1400 researchers from around the world came together to discuss advances in biobehavioural HIV prevention science. The rationale for this first-time meeting was that investigators need to understand the latest research findings from a wide array of disciplines, if the most promising approaches to HIV prevention can be transformed into sustained, cohesive responses that will arrest the pandemic.

In the few years since the HPTN 052 trial showed that earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people decreased HIV transmission to their serodiscordant partners, the concept of “treatment as prevention” has been popularised.2 Annualised global HIV incidence has decreased by a third annually since the height of the epidemic from more than 3 million to about 2 million cases per year. Four large community-randomised studies are underway in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, and Uganda to understand the population-level impact of earlier antiretroviral treatment combined with other evidence-based prevention services. However, initial successes have been followed by subsequent increased HIV spread in some populations. Favourable or stable national trends could mask rising HIV incidence in key populations—ie, men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers, people who inject drugs, vulnerable youth—often due to decreased access to services because of stigma and discrimination.5 Despite annual HIV incidence decreasing over the past decade, with several million new infections a year, and with declining mortality among people living with HIV, the epidemic continues to grow. Expansion of treatment is an appropriate aspiration, but research to optimise other prevention approaches remains necessary.

During the past 5 years, seven efficacy trials of oral or topical tenofovir-based regimens used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV acquisition have been completed, with five showing efficacy. Efficacy studies in diverse populations now show that chemoprophylaxis works, but many factors can limit adherence., Investigators have learned that in trials that did not show PrEP efficacy, some participants who enrolled in PrEP trials were motivated by economic and medical incentives, did not perceive themselves at increased risk for HIV, or did not trust researchers. Just before and during HIV R4P, two newer PrEP studies, PROUD in the UK and IPERGAY in France, announced they were moving MSM participants from the control conditions (waiting list or placebo) to receive tenofovir-emtricitabine because interim analyses showed incontrovertible efficacy of tenofovir/emtricitabine as PrEP, adding new evidence that PrEP can become an important prevention tool. Further research is underway to develop culturally tailored programmes to enhance adherence for those who can most benefit from PrEP. Careful assessment of pharmacological and behavioural patterns will lead to recommendations for optimised use of PrEP, with the possibility of less than daily dosing.

Other methods of prevention discussed at HIV R4P included topical gels and intravaginal rings, which have been investigated as ways to minimise systemic antiretroviral exposures, and could be co-formulated with hormonal contraception to provide dual protection. In the next few months, the FACTS trial, a new topical tenofovir gel efficacy study, will be completed in South Africa to determine if the findings of CAPRISA 00410 can be replicated; if successful, the results should facilitate the path for licensure of the first vaginal microbicide. This advance would provide additional impetus for efficacy studies of rectal tenofovir gel to protect those who engage in anal intercourse. Two efficacy studies of intravaginal dapvirine rings, the ASPIRE and RING studies, will be completed within the next 2 years, and, if successful, will offer another method of HIV prevention. Two long-acting partenterally administered antiretrovirals, rilpivirine and cabotegravir, are in early clinical trials, and could obviate the need for daily adherence. Over the next few years, chemoprophylaxis will provide various options for HIV prevention, analogous to birth control.

A safe and effective vaccine still remains the Holy Grail for an “AIDS-free generation”, and although no breakthroughs were announced at HIV R4P, the presentations reflected increasing optimism that progress is being made. The finding in the Thai RV 144 trial that a combination of a canarypox vector boosted by HIV envelope antigens was associated with a 31% reduction in HIV transmission has led to new insights about the correlates of protection, suggesting that non-neutralising antibodies might play an important part in the prevention of HIV transmission by facilitating cell-associated cytotoxicity, enhancing phagocytosis, or by other mechanisms that need further elucidation. An efficacy trial of a Clade-C optimised combination vaccine regimen is planned to be conducted in South Africa.

The HIV R4P meeting also highlighted the role that broadly neutralising antibodies (BNAbs) might have in HIV prevention. Several antibodies have been isolated from long-term non-progressors, rare HIV-infected individuals who retain virological control after living with HIV for decades. More recently, researchers have postulated that BNAbs might be administered for immunoprophylaxis. Early studies of parenteral BNAb administration have shown safety, and efficacy studies of passive immunoprophylaxis are being planned for African infants born to HIV-infected, treatment naive mothers and for high risk HIV-uninfected populations.19 The current generation of BNAbs may not have sufficient potency, breadth, and duration to merit licensure, but proof that the administration of BNAbs could decrease HIV incidence would be a major advance for the field, since vaccine candidates could be developed using the results as benchmarks, and newer, more potent BNAbs could also be developed for immunoprophylaxis.

As highlighted at HIV R4P, resources for HIV prevention are a major concern. Until each method of prevention has well established correlates of protection, the optimal way to show efficacy is to undertake randomised, controlled trials. HIV transmission is not efficient, and since counselling trial participants attenuates the risk of HIV acquisition, thousands of volunteers are needed for each efficacy trial. This means that the costs from bench to deployment for each new product are many million dollars. HIV R4P delegates left Cape Town with renewed optimism, along with the hope that funders and the public will understand that much more research needs to be done to optimise HIV prevention.

MPTs as Seen From a Bowl of Salad Combo

Salad! Fruit salad! Vegetable salad! You know, the type that come with all the goodness served in one bowl. Or those that you get to choose the combinations that sate your palate’s desire? Sometimes I’m perfectly okay with slicing a succulent cucumber and sprinkling it with some creamy garlic vinaigrette. When I want to outdo myself, I love taking my time to make a good chopped salad, and I will add a variety of nuts and seeds to make it richer. The result is a yummy bowl named Chef Eve’s Saturday Special. My neighbor calls it “The rabbit diet”. Some of my friends would rather have the nuts and leave the “leaves” alone; others think I need prayers for some of my food choices. My mother tells me I need to eat “real” food more often. Well, we all have diverse tastes, and different food preferences. This salad combo works perfectly for me. No burned fingers, and most importantly no scrubbing burnt cooking pots afterwards.

And salad, my dear friends is what exactly I think about when someone mentions Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs). These are products in development that would simultaneously address multiple sexual and reproductive health needs, including prevention of unintended pregnancy; prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and/or prevention of other reproductive tract infections (RTIs), such as bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections. 

Several MPT formulations were presented at the recent HIV Research for Prevention or “R4P” conference in Cape Town (October 27-31, 2014). The ones discussed in Cape Town combine contraceptive and microbicide approaches to prevent pregnancy, HIV—and, in some cases, other STIs like herpes—into one product. How can this not be exciting to anyone? While these products do not exist yet, the idea is a great one: You pop a pill, and voila! You hit the freeway. 

Not really, but it could be liberating to have a prevention tool that allowed you not worry about pregnancy or HIV. 

Daily oral PrEP using tenofovir is already an option women could use—and lots of women talked about it in Cape Town—as a way to take control over HIV prevention and stop worrying about our husband or boyfriend having a “mpango wa kando” (Swahili slang name for multiple sexual partners). 

In the future, an MPT injection might be developed that would let you get a tiny unpainful jab (at least that’s what I hope it will be; no one likes needles!), and for one, or two or three months or more, you need not think about pregnancy, or HIV, or herpes. And then there are those of us who would want to have a baby but then would not want to have an infection. Well, guess what? MPTs could  have our backs covered too.  There is research into MPTs that will prevent HIV and STIs but allow for pregnancy. Just like salad, if you don’t like nuts, we can make you a garden “combo” or we can just slice up the cucumber; there are many options! The choice is yours. Dr. Nelly Mugo, a researcher at KEMRI likes to say “The same thing does not work for the same woman all the time.” I agree, whole heartedly. Some days, I don’t even want to see my best combo salad. Some days I just want a giant mug of the over-priced pumpkin spice latte! If only we had Starbucks in Kenya!

Let’s just pause for a minute, and do the math. No, not advanced calculus, just big numbers and percentages. Statistics show that globally, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa remains most severely affected, accounting for 71% of the people living with HIV worldwide. More than half of them are women. Approximately 40% (80 million annually) of all pregnancies are unintended. 80 million! That’s about twice the population of my lovely country Kenya! This is a mind-boggling number. More than three-quarters of these pregnancies occur among women with an unmet need for contraception living in low-resource countries. It is estimated that approximately half of all unintended pregnancies end in illegal abortions likely occurring under unsafe conditions, leading to maternal deaths, and either temporary or permanent disabilities among millions of women. The WHO maps provide an over view of the global SRH burden. In the MPT session this morning, the maps were dubbed as “the warm colored maps” showing large regions of unmet SRH needs, and seems that the brighter the colors the higher the prevalence of HIV/STI or unmet family planning needs or the more deaths they indicate. How sad. Some of those colors are really fancy. I hope they do maintain those lovely colors when MPTs will be out in the market doing what they were developed to do, and then the colors can show the decline in HIV, decline in maternal health, decline in unintended pregnancy. Decline. Decline. Decline.  Am a dreamer. And all dreams are valid. Ask Lupita Nyong’o.

Now, imagine the possibility product that would reserve this numbers! I am looking forward to that day. It is so exciting to know that developers, scientists, social behavioral scientist and market researchers are all burning midnight oil in a collaborative effort to ensure successful development and delivery of MPTs. To suit our diverse SRH needs, MPTs are being developed in diverse formulations. For instance a single sized diaphragm is being evaluated in South Africa as a reusable delivery of a microbicide gel that could reduce the risk of HIV. The diaphragm is already a contraceptive that prevents unwanted pregnancy. It also presents an option for non-hormonal barrier contraception. With an anti-HIV gel, it could be a one-two punch. 

There several other MPTs under development including intravaginal rings that combine contraceptive hormone with ARVs for HIV and HSV2 prevention; and multipurpose injectables. These different formulations provide many options for women and could also allow women to use a product without necessarily negotiating with their sex partners. The need to have HIV prevention options that do not require negotiation with a partner,was emphasized in one of the lunch time session at the Advocate’s Corner. At HIV R4P. One of the participants expressed concerns that all options currently available need some form of negotiation, and if one is not negotiating one is wondering if their partner is “wearing their ARVs”. Such are the issues that make me think MPTs could not have come at a better time. 

Even though MPT are still at the very early stages of development, a lot of progress has been made so far. But even as stakeholders continue with the development process, there are a number of unanswered questions that need to be addressed; do we know if MPTs will be effective? Do we know what women want? Do women know what they want? When these products will be found to work how will they be provided to those who need it? Will the MPTs be easily assessable when available? Will the women afford the products? How do we address issues around provider attitude? Will we be able to manufacture them? These are just a few of the many questions that need answers.  As Prof Elizabeth Bukusi said in Cape Town, the process is like navigating your way on a very muddy road, one is never really sure if they will get to the end, but there is always hope that you will get there, “and if you can’t take the road, take the boat” she said. We need to think about where we have come from so far, where we are at with the epidemics, and find a way to get us to where we are going.

For more information on MPTs, make sure to check out:

Webinar: What do women want in multipurpose technologies?

Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs) are a fast-growing area in women’s sexual and reproductive health. On November 12, AVAC and CAMI Health co-hosted a webinar: MPT Acceptability in Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa.

Webinar Materials

The webinar summarized methods and key findings from the market research study conducted by Ipsos Healthcare, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to assess the acceptability of multipurpose options among women in Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa.

The webinar discussed:

  • What women in Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa shared about sexual behavior, contraceptives and HIV prevention needs—and how this information will be used to shape the MPT agenda.
    What the research found about the acceptability of four potential MPTs (injectables, implants, intra-vaginal film, intra-vaginal ring).
  • Jeff Lucas and Moushira El-Sahn from Ipsos Healthcare summarized methods and key findings from the market research data, and Bethany Young-Holt from CAMI Health moderated the discussion.

This call was one of the latest updates in the MPT field. Here are some other resources of note: