News & Views

Press Releases

Population Council Awarded USAID Research Project: Supporting Operational AIDS Research

The Population Council has been awarded a five-year cooperative agreement from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for Supporting Operational AIDS Research (SOAR). This global research project will determine how best to address challenges and gaps that remain in the delivery of HIV and AIDS care and support, treatment, and prevention services. Led by the Population Council, SOAR partners include the Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Futures Group, and Futures Institute. The SOAR partnership will produce a large, multi-faceted body of high-quality evidence to guide the planning and implementation of programs and policies for HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

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Council Commentary

Population Council Hosts Archbishop Desmond Tutu, HRH Princess Mabel van Oranje in Zambia

Population Council Hosts Archbishop Desmond Tutu, HRH Princess Mabel van Oranje in Zambia
Photo credit: François D'Elbee/Girls Not Brides

On Tuesday, September 16th, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and HRH Princess Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, visited with girls participating in the Population Council’s Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP). AGEP is designed to find the best ways to improve girls’ social, health, and economic resources so that they can stay in school longer, avoid early marriage, delay sexual activity, and prevent unintended pregnancy and HIV and other STIs. The project is led and being evaluated by the Population Council. The Population Council is at the forefront of directing policy attention to child marriage and in developing and testing effective methods of reducing the practice.

In a statement released today, Tutu said, “It is encouraging to see that the government, civil society, traditional leaders and others in Zambia have recognised that child marriage has a devastating impact on girls and the nation as a whole. I am impressed by the determination of all those we have met who are working to bring an end to this scourge. . . . We have seen how empowerment programmes can transform a girl’s life, increasing her confidence and her ability to make choices about her own future. We also need to make sure that education, health and other services are accessible and affordable especially for adolescent girls—married and unmarried.” 

Council Commentary

The Power of Family Planning

40% of all pregnancies worldwide in 2012 were unplanned. More than 222 million women in developing countries who don’t want to become pregnant aren’t using modern contraception. And 358,000 women and 3 million newborns die each year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Click below and check out our new World Contraception Day infographics to get the facts on how family planning improves lives, long-acting reversible contraception, and a new Council-developed contraceptive option for breastfeeding women.

          

Council Commentary

“Passion Is Our Fuel but Not Our Plan”

"Why are we so slow to see, count, or reach the 200 million poorest girls?" asks Council expert Judith Bruce in "The adolescent girl moment: Passion is our fuel but not our plan," on Girls' Globe.

In a guest commentary published today, Bruce urges the global community to invest in targeted, evidence-based, scalable programs for real girls in real places. Improving the health, economic, and cognitive assets of adolescent girls will bring measurable, lasting change and guarantee the well-being and economic preparedness of the next generation.

Population Briefs

Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Girls: Using Research to Develop and Implement Programs that Improve Girls’ Lives

Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Girls: Using Research to Develop and Implement Programs that Improve Girls’ Lives
Photo credit: Population Council

In Zambia, Population Council researchers are implementing and evaluating the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) using a randomized control trial, in order to provide strong evidence of the intervention’s impact. AGEP will enroll 10,000 poor adolescent girls and address their social isolation, economic vulnerability, and lack of access to vital health services.

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Population Briefs

The Influence of Rural Women’s Autonomy on Marital Violence in Four Indian States

The Influence of Rural Women’s Autonomy on Marital Violence in Four Indian States
Photo credit: Population Council

There is evidence that women in India who have more education than their husbands, who earn more, or who are the sole earners in their families have a higher likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) than women who are not employed or who are less educated than their spouse. However, recent Population Council research found women’s autonomy to be correlated with less IPV in some regions.

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Population Briefs

Ensuring that Family Planning Programs Respect, Protect, and Fulfill Women’s Rights

Ensuring that Family Planning Programs Respect, Protect, and Fulfill Women’s Rights
Photo credit: Population Council

In the developing world, 222 million women would like to delay or avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraceptives. At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, the international community made a commitment to reduce this unmet need by reaching 120 million women and girls from the world’s poorest countries with voluntary access to family planning information, contraceptives, and services by 2020, an agreement known as FP2020.

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Population Briefs

Preclinical Study Shows Microbicide Gel’s Effectiveness Against HIV and Other Viruses

Preclinical Study Shows Microbicide Gel’s Effectiveness Against HIV and Other Viruses
Photo credit: Population Council

Results of a recent animal study offer new optimism for microbicides, biomedical products being developed to protect people against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Population Council scientists and their partners have found that a proprietary microbicide gel developed by the Council is safe, stable, and can prevent the transmission of HIV, herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), and human papillomavirus (HPV), in both the vagina and rectum in animals. It has a window of efficacy in the vagina against all three viruses of at least eight hours prior to exposure. An in vitro study also provides the first data that the gel is effective against multiple strains of HIV.

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Media Coverage

Ending Child Marriage

A new Time magazine article on the US–Africa Leaders Summit highlights the human rights violation that is child marriage, as well as solutions and players working to stop it, including the Population Council.

The Council’s Berhane Hewan project, which significantly reduced child marriage and increased schooling among enrolled girls aged 10–14, was discussed at a Summit side event on ending child marriage hosted by the International Center for Research on Women along with Human Rights Watch and the International Women's Health Coalition.