News & Views

Press Releases

Population Council Launches Phase 1 Clinical Trial of a Novel Microbicide Gel to Prevent HIV and Other STIs

The Population Council, in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), announced today the launch of a Phase 1 trial of PC-1005 vaginal gel, a novel multipurpose prevention technology (MPT). Thirty healthy, HIV-negative women will be enrolled in the trial to evaluate the safety, acceptability, and pharmacokinetic profile of PC-1005 gel.

The antiretroviral-based microbicide gel contains  MIV-150, an enzyme inhibitor that prevents HIV-infected cells from producing new virus; zinc acetate, an antiviral agent with activity against HIV and herpes simplex virus (HSV); and carrageenan, a natural product derived from seaweed that has been shown to have potent activity against human papillomavirus (HPV).

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From Our Partners

A Balanced Response to Basic Human Rights Needs in Crisis Settings

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the authors, and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at bright@unfpa.org.

The screams emanating from the delivery room did not beckon me to enter, but such was my introduction to reproductive health in refugee settings. Like 51 million people around the world, the Palestinian woman in labor was forcibly displaced. As in any population, about half of refugees are women and girls, and pregnant women account for 20% of women of reproductive age. As can be imagined, some of the women do not wish to be, or become, pregnant, so the provision of a range of short- and long-acting, reversible contraceptives as part of reproductive health education and care is essential. 

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Council Commentary

A Call to Action to End Child Marriage and Prioritize Affected Girls Under 15

Judith Bruce is a Population Council senior associate and policy analyst. Annabel Erulkar is a senior associate and director of the Council's Ethiopia office. 

Each year, at least 14 million girls around the world are married by age 18—that is, as children. After many years of hard work by researchers and advocates, child marriage is now firmly embedded in the rhetoric of human rights. What we need now is a focused business plan that will ensure successful results.

Despite girls being highlighted far and wide in conferences and communications, the poorest girls in the poorest communities are not yet receiving the necessary on-the-ground resources to avoid forced sex inside and outside of marriage. Child marriage not only violates their human rights and endangers their health, but often also anchors them in poverty.

What can we do to move from well-meaning dialogue and diffuse efforts to actions that actually make a difference?

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Voices of Change

Family Planning: Increasing Access, Engaging Communities, Improving Technologies

In celebration of World Contraception Day 2014, learn more about how the Population Council has shaped policies, informed programs, and developed new reproductive health technologies through the voices of 6 Council researchers: Terence Adda-Balinia, Selina Esantsi, Régine Sitruk-Ware, Ruth Merkatz, Gertrude Nsorma Nyaaba, and Patience Boni.

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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.

          


We invite you also to read more about how the Council has shaped policies, informed programs, and developed new reproductive health technologies through the voices of our researchers.

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

“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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