Integrating PrEP and contraception in a single pill to expand choices
The Dual Prevention Pill (DPP) Project aims to accelerate the development and introduction of a multipurpose prevention technology (MPT)—a single product designed to address multiple health needs—for HIV and pregnancy prevention.
In East and Southern Africa—where the DPP is initially planned for introduction—65 percent of new HIV infections are among women aged 15 and over, and 16 percent of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for contraception. As the “youth bulge” results in millions of young people entering their reproductive years, it will impact efforts to end the HIV epidemic and reduce unintended pregnancies. It is critical to ensure all women have access to both contraception and HIV prevention.
About the DPP Project
While oral PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) works to reduce HIV risk, uptake and continued use remain low. In 2019, a collaboration of several organizations was established to support the development and introduction of a dual prevention pill, a novel intervention for the prevention of unintended pregnancy and HIV acquisition in high-need countries. Combining the two prevention tools aims to help address some of the challenges with oral PrEP and could reduce stigma around women seeking HIV prevention services.
Advancing the DPP is the quickest way to bring a new MPT—and the first with PrEP—to market, and lays the groundwork for other MPTs currently in the research pipeline, such as vaginal rings, injectables and implants.
The project has undertaken a number of initiatives, including:
engaging with the family planning field;
identifying markets where HIV incidence and unmet need for modern contraception are high;
evaluating regulatory and policy environments; leading research on end-user preferences; and
assessing cost-effectiveness and analyzing opportunities for collaboration with the private sector on delivering the product.