In 2009, CAMI Health convened a multidisciplinary international meeting in Berkeley, California aimed to advance the development of prevention methods that would protect women and girls from interlinked sexual and reproductive health risks. An outcome of this meeting was the launching of the MPT field and the establishment of the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies, or the IMPT.

Recognizing the technical complexities of and limited resources available to this new field, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) committed support in 2009 to CAMI Health to serve as Secretariat of the IMPT. As IMPT Secretariat, CAMI Health has managed the development of an effective mechanism for the IMPT to advance the MPT field as a learning network. The IMPT facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations, manages MPT-related knowledge, and develops field-wide recommendations.

First aiming to assess the technical feasibility of the MPT concept, the IMPT then convened the first-ever MPT stakeholder meetings in 2011 and 2012, from which there was consensus that the development of MPTs was challenging, but scientifically feasible, and that a united international multi-sector approach would be necessary to advance the field. The IMPT Secretariat has worked ever since to facilitate the development of this overarching strategy by systematically identifying pressing technical issues and accelerating prudent action by examining evidence, developing guidance, and facilitating critical conversations with appropriate experts across disciplines and sectors.

There has been notable growth in enthusiasm around and funding support to the MPT field as a whole since 2009; for example, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization prioritized MPTs in their strategies in 2016, there are now over a dozen promising MPT products in the development pipeline, and MPTs are consistently featured at international public health conferences. The IMPT Secretariat’s role has expanded to meet the field’s growth and evolving needs.