Research Topic

Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs)

Photo Credit: Julie Sitney

HIV, STIs and unintended pregnancy are global health crises. Innovative approaches are needed to help women and men protect their sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

Every day, more than 1 million people contract STIs. Many are incurable viral infections caused by HIV, HPV and HSV-2. These long-term infections can cause serious illnesses, increase susceptibility to other serious diseases and create a huge burden on health systems, especially in poor countries. In addition, 40% of all pregnancies--85 million pregnancies a year--are unintended.

New HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention methods are urgently needed; worldwide, millions of individuals are infected each year. To help stop the spread of HIV and other STIs, the Council is developing new, user-controlled prevention methods called multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that will allow women to prevent unintended pregnancy as well as HIV and other STIs.

MPTs are innovative products in development that are designed to protect against HIV, viral STIs, and in some cases unintended pregnancy in a single product. MPTs are designed to:

  • Be safe and effective.
  • Address multiple SRH needs in a single product.
  • Be user-controlled and user-friendly.
  • Could improve lives and reduce healthcare costs significantly.

Council MPT candidates include on demand formulations designed to be used at or around the time of sex, as well as sustained release formulations that have the potential to deliver drugs for up to 90 days.

The Population Council is a global leader in contraceptive and MPT development.

  • We bring decades of experience to the development of new products and strategies to protect women's and men's SRH.
  • The Council leads research, collaborates with major universities and research organizations, and conducts programs to support SRH in more than 50 countries.
  • Currently, 170 million women worldwide are using contraceptive products developed by the Council or based on our technology.

The Council's "bench to bedside" approach to product development covers the entire product development lifecycle, including basic science, clinical testing, behavioral research that focuses on adherence and end user needs, and strategy introduction and thoughtful scale-up of effective technologies once they become available.

The Council seeks oversight and approval for its MPTs from stringent regulatory authorities like the FDA and EMA, ensuring that products have gone through appropriate preclinical and clinical safety and efficacy testing prior to introduction.

In keeping with the Council's mission, agreements with collaborators include provisions to ensure that MPTs will be offered to people in less-developed countries at public-sector prices.

In addition to consulting with MPT experts on a regular basis, the Council convenes a Microbicide Advisory Board consisting of a world-class panel of experts from the academic, nonprofit, and industry sectors to provide guidance and feedback on MPT development.

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