The Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (IMPT) is the first and only initiative dedicated to advancing the field of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)—combination products designed to simultaneously prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and/or pregnancy.
We are a global network of multidisciplinary and multinational stakeholders—including scientists, product developers, policymakers, advocates, and funders. Leaders from these stakeholder groups came together with CAMI Health in 2009 to create the IMPT as a way to bridge silos between the fields of HIV prevention, other STI prevention, and contraception, and expand comprehensive prevention options for women. Together, we seek to foster an enabling environment for the successful advancement of female-initiated MPTs.
Housed at CAMI Health, a program of the Public Health Institute in California, USA, the IMPT is a product-neutral learning network that serves as a platform for information sharing and collaboration, awareness raising and advocacy, and identifying field-wide priority action areas and gaps, and innovative approaches to address them and advance the field.
Comprised of members from across disciplines and continents, the IMPT is the central body that researchers, product developers, funders, policymakers, and advocates rely on for objective technical guidance and strategic planning related to MPTs. By facilitating interdisciplinary and international partnerships, the IMPT enables experts from across the HIV, STI, and contraceptive fields to strategize around the unique technological, market access, and regulatory challenges presented by developing combined prevention, thus refining the pathway to impactful MPT development (Figure 1).
Figure 1: IMPT Learning Network
Specifically, the IMPT:
- Cultivates partnerships among multisectoral IMPT Learning Network partners from across geographical regions
- Serves as the MPT communications and information 'hub'
- Advances the MPT scientific and technical agenda by identifying MPT fieldwide action areas and gaps and approaches for remedying these gaps with input from MPT stakeholders
- Facilitates learning events that bring together experts across disciplines to contribute to field-wide conversations and collaborations
- Tracks and publishes the up-to-date status of MPT products in development
- Publishes findings and recommendations in peer-reviewed publications
- Engages with mainstream media to raise awareness and support for MPTs
- Partners with researchers to translate data into practical tools and guidance
- Fosters professional development for early and later stage MPT researchers and other stakeholders
- Facilitates supporting agency collaborations relevant to MPTs
An array of MPT product candidates are actively funded and in various stages of development, including rings, gels, inserts, films, implants, patches, and pills. While we have witnessed enormous growth of the MPT field in just over a decade, MPT development is scientifically and logistically complex, and financial and technical resources remain limited. The IMPT continues to work alongside its Network Partners to address remaining gaps and help ensure the most promising MPTs reach the hands of women.
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