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Advancing Better Women’s Health Prevention: The IMPT Receives $4.49 Million U.S. Government Award to Support MPTs

August 01, 2016

August 1, 2016 (Sacramento, CA) — Women’s ability to protect themselves from simultaneous sexual and reproductive health (SRH) risks, including unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) received a substantial boost with a $4,499,501 award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to advance Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs). This award will support the Initiative for MPTs (IMPT) to coordinate the innovative field of prevention that enables women and adolescent girls to better protect themselves from multiple SRH risks. Some MPTs prevent infections and unintended pregnancy, while others would allow women to become pregnant while preventing HIV and other STIs.

With 85 million unintended pregnancies around the world (including half of all pregnancies in the U.S.) and 2.1 million new HIV infections every year, the introduction of new women-controlled prevention methods that “do more” are anticipated to have a meaningful global impact on women’s health.

The IMPT is a product-neutral, international collaboration of researchers, advocates, and funders working together to advance the development and introduction of an array of MPT options. The IMPT is a project of CAMI Health, an organization dedicated to women’s reproductive health and empowerment, housed at the Public Health Institute (PHI).

“We thank USAID for championing the MPT field,” said Dr. Bethany Young Holt, PhD, Director of the IMPT. “Women worldwide tell us they need more prevention options that they can initiate and that fit the realities of their daily lives. The MPT field is committed to prevention approaches that women will want and be able to use. MPTs have the potential to be a game-changer for women’s health across the globe.”

The IMPT award announcement comes on the heels of the international AIDS 2016 conference in Durban, South Africa that spotlighted the persistent global HIV infection rates and the disproportionate risk of HIV infection among young women and adolescent girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, a population with substantial unmet SRH needs.

MPTs currently in development include: intravaginal rings, fast-dissolving films, vaginal inserts, gels, and injectables. There are several rings in development that have shown promising results as HIV prevention tools and are now entering clinical trials as an MPT that combine an antiretroviral drug (ARV) with a contraceptive. Other promising MPTs in the product development pipeline can be viewed in full on the MPT Product Development Database on the IMPT website.

The award is a sole-source five-year cooperative agreement with USAID aligned with USAID’s annual program statement ‘Family Planning and Reproductive Health Methods to Address Unmet Need.’ The award is co-funded between the USAID Offices of Population & Reproductive Health (PRH) and HIV/AIDS (OHA).

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Editors and reporters please contact Kathryn Stewart at kstewart@cami-health.org, (530) 448 2050, to arrange interviews or for more information.