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End-to-end approach to ensuring equitable access to multipurpose prevention technologies in low- and middle-income countries

With less than half of the 15-year Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda remaining, progress toward the goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all has slowed, stalled, and in some cases reversed. UNAIDS has targets of 95% of people at risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection using appropriate, prioritized, person-centered and effective combination prevention options and 95% of women of reproductive age having their HIV and sexual and reproductive health service needs met by 2025 (1). However, in 2021, there were 1.5 million new HIV infections, far from the 2025 target of 370,000 (2); 121 million unintended pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies globally (3); and 374 million new infections with one of four curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (4), compounding the risk of HIV acquisition. Most of this burden is borne by low- and middle-income countries (L/MICs). The COVID-19 pandemic pushed progress further off-track. For example, an estimated 12 million women were unable to access family planning services due to the pandemic, resulting in 1.4 million unintended pregnancies (5). With additional factors such as climate change driving migration and conflict, and the cost-of-living crisis constraining budgets, there is even greater need for streamlined services and improved, affordable technologies to meet diverse health needs across different contexts (6). Novel forms of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are a game-changing innovation for the simultaneous prevention of unintended pregnancy, HIV, and/or STIs. By addressing multiple health needs at once, MPTs have the potential to better meet the needs of the populations they seek to serve and accelerate progress toward global goals. However, technological innovation alone is insufficient to achieve global impact. Addressing timely and equitable access is key for novel technologies to reach populations in need and realize their full potential. There is an opportunity to learn from other technologies that have emerged in recent decades. On average, it has taken eight to ten years for HIV medicines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) to become accessible in L/MICs (7). With the urgent need to accelerate progress toward SDG31 (8), we cannot afford preventable mortality and morbidity caused by this lag in access.

August 2023

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Resource Type:

Database
Journal Article
Journal Article
MPT Articles
MPT Article
Resource

Citation:

With less than half of the 15-year Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda remaining, progress toward the goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all has slowed, stalled, and in some cases reversed. UNAIDS has targets of 95% of people at risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection using appropriate, prioritized, person-centered and effective combination prevention options and 95% of women of reproductive age having their HIV and sexual and reproductive health service needs met by 2025 (1). However, in 2021, there were 1.5 million new HIV infections, far from the 2025 target of 370,000 (2); 121 million unintended pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies globally (3); and 374 million new infections with one of four curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (4), compounding the risk of HIV acquisition. Most of this burden is borne by low- and middle-income countries (L/MICs). The COVID-19 pandemic pushed progress further off-track. For example, an estimated 12 million women were unable to access family planning services due to the pandemic, resulting in 1.4 million unintended pregnancies (5). With additional factors such as climate change driving migration and conflict, and the cost-of-living crisis constraining budgets, there is even greater need for streamlined services and improved, affordable technologies to meet diverse health needs across different contexts (6). Novel forms of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are a game-changing innovation for the simultaneous prevention of unintended pregnancy, HIV, and/or STIs. By addressing multiple health needs at once, MPTs have the potential to better meet the needs of the populations they seek to serve and accelerate progress toward global goals. However, technological innovation alone is insufficient to achieve global impact. Addressing timely and equitable access is key for novel technologies to reach populations in need and realize their full potential. There is an opportunity to learn from other technologies that have emerged in recent decades. On average, it has taken eight to ten years for HIV medicines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) to become accessible in L/MICs (7). With the urgent need to accelerate progress toward SDG31 (8), we cannot afford preventable mortality and morbidity caused by this lag in access.

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Authors: Cameron, A.I., Scott, C., Casas, C.P. and Barker, T.

Health Risks(s):

  • HIV
  • STI / STD
  • Unintended Pregnancy

Product type(s):

  • Contraceptives
  • HIVinhibitor
  • HIVtreatment
  • MPTs

Topic(s):

  • MPTs
  • Regulatory
  • Reproductive Health
  • SRH

Region(s)

  • Global

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