News & Views

Council Commentary

Contraceptive Discontinuation: Understanding Unmet Need

More than 225 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. 

Among these women with current unmet need, about 38 percent have used modern contraception in the past but discontinued it. More than one-half of those women stop within two years.

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Ideas with Impact

A Recipe for Analyzing Fertility

I began my career with the Population Council in 1973, and in 2015 I retired as its president. One of the joys of working at the Council was being surrounded by public health and social science all-stars. Council researchers have changed the way the world thinks about important health and development issues and influenced policies and practice on family planning, the rights and health of girls, and population change. A highlight of my career has been seeing Population Council vice president and distinguished scholar John Bongaarts speak before standing-room-only-audiences in New York, New Delhi, and Addis Ababa. Like a small number of superstars in other professions, John can fill a hall in any of the world’s capital cities.

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Council Commentary

The Girls in Emergencies Collaborative

The poorest girls in the poorest communities around the world exist in a near constant state of emergency because of vulnerabilities brought on by their age, sex, and economic status. Humanitarian emergencies—such as those caused by extreme events related to climate change—intensify pressures on girls to act as caregivers and greatly increase their vulnerabilities.

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From Our Partners

Guest Commentary: HIV and Adolescent Girls and Young Women

The Population Council is conducting the world’s largest body of research on ways to improve the lives of adolescent girls in the developing world. For more than 25 years, the Council has developed and evaluated innovative programs and systems to increase access to quality reproductive health and HIV services and reduce the vulnerabilities that can increase girls’ lifetime risk for HIV and AIDS. Council research shows that if we can reach girls early, keep them safe and in school, and give them critical skills and information and a say in their own lives, they will be on the path to a safer, healthier adulthood. 

A new global commitment to address the various factors that increase girls’ risk for HIV infection and help keep them safe from HIV was announced in 2014. We asked Janet Fleischman of CSIS to comment on what she thinks of this heightened response and what’s needed to keep adolescent girls HIV free.


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Press Releases

Population Council’s MZC Outperforms Tenofovir 1% Gel in Preclinical Evaluation of Microbicide Candidates

MZC Microbicide Gel Demonstrates Strong Efficacy Against HIV and HSV-2 in Preclinical Study

NEW YORK—New data from a preclinical safety and efficacy study of the candidate microbicide gel MZC, which targets HIV, herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) and human papillomavirus (HPV), shows that the gel performs as well as, or in many cases, better than, tenofovir (TFV) 1% gel, a leading microbicide candidate.

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Council Commentary

Advancing Gender Equality, Expanding Access: The Fifth Research Meeting on Unwanted Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion

In September 2015, the global community ushered in a new era as the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda presents a progressive vision that will be delivered through 17 new "Sustainable Development Goals." Embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a commitment to ensuring the equal status of women. More specifically, goals three and five aim to achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls and guaranteeing "universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights."

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