(Sacramento, CA): Broad-spectrum prevention that can simultaneously prevent unintended pregnancy along with STIs, including HIV, is on the horizon say experts in a special supplement of the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The issue features an international assemblage of researchers, funders, developers and advocates who identify the pressing global health rationale for MPTs and present new research and strategies for making the go/no-go funding and research decisions that shape the field.
The invited guest editor for the supplement is Dr. Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, in collaboration with Dr. Bethany Young Holt, Executive Director of CAMI Health, a project of the Public Health Institute, and Coordinator of the IMPT, the international partnership shaping the MPT field. Articles include discussion of the challenges, breakthroughs and opportunities for MPT development and uptake in a human rights context and the anticipated global health impact.
"The impressive array of international science, funder, provider, advocacy and policy expertise from around the world represented in this special MPT supplement speaks to the high level of multi-sector collaboration in the initiative for MPTs," said Dr. Bethany Young Holt.
"There is an urgent need for funding to spur additional innovation and to close the research gaps so that we can put broad-spectrum SRH prevention in women's hands."
Additional supplement highlights include:
- Overviews of MPTs in development, including an article on developments in gels, devices and drug release combinations, such as new vaginal rings and diaphragms.
- Papers detailing how scientists, developers, funders and advocates from around the world--spanning contraceptive, STI and HIV research and funding arenas--advance a common research agenda.
- Reviews that highlight the complexities and importance of integrating input from women and other socio-behavioral elements into MPT product development.
- Sophisticated approaches to ensure sufficient and coordinated funding are discussed in two articles that detail innovative methodologies for making go/no-go funding and science decisions during product development.
- Original studies that show the growing and interrelated incidence of HIV and STI infection among young women in Sub-Saharan Africa and China, making the case for MPT development.
Said supplement guest editor Dr. Lusti-Narasimhan of the growing field, "The innovative research in the MPT field is paving the way to providing more options to women and young girls to address their sexual and reproductive health needs. When delivered in the context of a rights-based approach, these new prevention products have the potential to improve health and save resources."
"BJOG is delighted to be publishing this special supplement focusing on improving the sexual and reproductive health of women around the globe," said Professor Khalid Khan, BJOG Editor-in-Chief. "Development of new technologies for women to protect against both unintended pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV, will transform lives, leading to fewer unintended pregnancies and related health risks, reduce the STI rates worldwide, and give women more choice over their health and family planning needs."