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Commentary: Multipurpose prevention technologies—What about sexually transmitted infections?

Over the past decade, developers have made advances in addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs through multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)—products designed to simultaneously prevent HIV, Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and/or unintended pregnancy (1). Multiple studies have demonstrated users’ preference for methods that prevent pregnancy alongside HIV and/or STIs rather than a single indication (2–7). While there are limitations to interpreting results from hypothetical use studies, it is intuitive that individuals would prefer a product that offers multiple benefits. By leveraging contraceptive priorities, MPTs provide a potential solution to known challenges such as ongoing low uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PReP) (8) while reducing the stigma of prevention (5, 9–11). The majority of MPTs under development incorporate HIV prevention (Figure 1) (12) consistent with stakeholder prioritization and funding allocation. U.S. government research funding for HIV/AIDS totaled $1.4 billion dollars in 2018, dwarfing funding for all other STIs and contraception combined (Table 1) (13). This heavy focus on HIV has been appropriate given the large global costs and burden. Global HIV infection causes 47.63 million DALYs in 2019, compared to an estimated 8.58 billion global DALYs accounted by non-HIV STIs (14). With recent promising advances in HIV treatment and prevention, MPT initiatives and appropriate funding must now shift to advance more products preventing non-HIV STIs to curb the growing STI epidemic.

June 2023

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Resource Type:

Database
Journal Article
Journal Article
MPT Articles
MPT Article
Resource

Citation:

Over the past decade, developers have made advances in addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs through multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)—products designed to simultaneously prevent HIV, Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and/or unintended pregnancy (1). Multiple studies have demonstrated users’ preference for methods that prevent pregnancy alongside HIV and/or STIs rather than a single indication (2–7). While there are limitations to interpreting results from hypothetical use studies, it is intuitive that individuals would prefer a product that offers multiple benefits. By leveraging contraceptive priorities, MPTs provide a potential solution to known challenges such as ongoing low uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PReP) (8) while reducing the stigma of prevention (5, 9–11). The majority of MPTs under development incorporate HIV prevention (Figure 1) (12) consistent with stakeholder prioritization and funding allocation. U.S. government research funding for HIV/AIDS totaled $1.4 billion dollars in 2018, dwarfing funding for all other STIs and contraception combined (Table 1) (13). This heavy focus on HIV has been appropriate given the large global costs and burden. Global HIV infection causes 47.63 million DALYs in 2019, compared to an estimated 8.58 billion global DALYs accounted by non-HIV STIs (14). With recent promising advances in HIV treatment and prevention, MPT initiatives and appropriate funding must now shift to advance more products preventing non-HIV STIs to curb the growing STI epidemic.

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Authors: Lu, A.M.R. and Haddad, L.B.

Health Risks(s):

  • HIV
  • STI / STD
  • Unintended Pregnancy

Product type(s):

  • Contraceptives
  • HIVinhibitor
  • MPTs

Topic(s):

  • Funding
  • MPTs
  • Development

Region(s)

  • Global

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