Council Commentary

The Need for Safe and Effective HIV Prevention for Women

Providing women and girls with products, information, and support to stay safe from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is a key priority of the Population Council’s biomedical, social science, and public health research. Women, especially young women and girls, are at high risk for HIV infection in many parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV. Globally, AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

Recent findings from a number of HIV prevention studies have reinforced the urgent need to evaluate and introduce a range of HIV prevention products that fit the real-life needs of women and girls. These findings draw attention to what has long been a central tenet of Population Council research efforts: To be effective, HIV prevention products must also be accessible and easy to use. We are committed to developing HIV prevention products that address the complexities of women’s lives around the world.

Because HIV is just one of the threats to women’s sexual and reproductive health, products that simultaneously prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy are also Council research priorities. We are working to develop a suite of more accessible and user-friendly HIV and STI prevention options for women and girls, including multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that could prevent HIV, other STIs, and unintended pregnancy.

Helping women and girls stay safe from HIV and STIs is a long-term global health challenge—one that the Population Council is fully committed to meeting. This work continues in collaboration with research partners and supporters worldwide. Every study takes us closer to our goal: a world in which every woman and girl has the products and services they need to protect their sexual and reproductive health.


About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.

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Media contact
Jennifer Brunet: jbrunet@popcouncil.org; +1 212 339 0670