Journal Article

The promise of the dual prevention pill: A framework for development and introduction

Women of reproductive age need multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) products to address two overlapping health risks: unintended pregnancy and HIV. Currently, condoms are the only available MPT, however male condoms are not within the control of a woman, and the use of female condoms has been limited by low acceptability and cost. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective for HIV prevention, yet uptake and adherence among women have been low to date. Women globally need more options for HIV and pregnancy prevention. Several MPTs for simultaneous HIV and pregnancy prevention are in various stages of development and clinical testing, although most are many years away from market launch. A dual prevention pill (DPP), a daily oral pill combining oral contraceptives and PrEP, both of which are licensed, approved products in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), is likely to be the fastest route to getting an MPT product into the hands of women. The DPP is one option that could enhance method choice, particularly for women who are already using oral contraceptives. By leveraging the oral contraceptive market and reaching women currently using condoms or with an unmet need for contraception, the DPP has the potential to increase the uptake of PrEP. The successful rollout of the DPP will require careful consideration of user-, provider-, and product-centered factors during product development and introduction. Early attention to these interrelated factors can help ensure that the DPP has the ideal characteristics for maximum product acceptability, that effective and quality services are designed and implemented, and that users can make informed choices, demand the product, and use it effectively. The proposed framework outlines key considerations for the effective development and introduction of the DPP, which could also facilitate integration models for future MPTs.