We join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day by calling out all MPT champions who work to provide women everywhere with more product choices designed to simultaneously prevent HIV, STIs, and/or pregnancy so women can manage their reproductive health and futures. We choose to challenge barriers to safe, effective, and affordable reproductive health access and care so that women can be empowered to live their lives freely—regardless of their stage of life, lifestyle, or socioeconomic standing.
Here are five ways that anyone interested in MPTs can continue to celebrate women and gender equality:
- Know the options for preventing HIV, other STIs, and/or pregnancy. Around the world, we may be seeing a decrease in unintended pregnancies, but women in low-income countries face the greatest risks. Furthermore, over 20 million women globally are currently living with HIV, and women are also at heightened risk for STI acquisition. Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are designed to simultaneously prevent HIV, other STIs, and/or unintended pregnancy. For hundreds of years, the condom has remained the only available MPT. These work great, but only for those who use them correctly and consistently. New forms of MPTs are being developed (e.g., vaginal rings, injectables, inserts, films, gels, patches, etc.). There are so many resources for you to begin with to learn more about MPTs. We recommend you start with the MPT FAQs and our MPT product database.
- Uplift researchers, advocates, and entrepreneurial leaders in the sexual and reproductive health field. Our IMPT Learning Network is a global network of multidisciplinary and multinational stakeholders including scientists, product developers, policymakers, advocates, and funders—many of whom are women. Let’s uplift the ongoing innovative work in the MPT field created to improve the lives of women and their families. Join us!
- Encourage younger generations—especially female early-career investigators, public health professionals, and students from diverse geographies—to explore career pathways in the MPT field. To ensure an ecosystem of innovation for contraception, prevention of HIV and other STIs, including MPTs, it is critical to foster nurturing training environments for scientists across generations and geographies. As the IMPT, we facilitate and elevate various learning and career opportunities occurring within the MPT space for early-career professionals. We recently conducted virtual networking mentor and mentee sessions at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) annual Contraceptive Research Branch meeting with topics spanning global health, entrepreneurship, multidisciplinary collaborations, advocacy, and more. Don’t miss the latest resources and opportunities for MPT researchers.
- Empower others in your personal and professional networks. While it’s important to build your knowledge about MPTs and other reproductive health solutions, we also need to put our knowledge into action and advocate for these innovative products. We must work collectively to raise awareness about the positive impacts that MPTs wield for the future health of women, families and communities so that, once they are available on the market, those who have a need for MPT products are accepting and willing to use them. Follow us on social media to help amplify the demand for and potential global impact of MPTs. We are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Support the work of the IMPT to advance MPT learning and innovation. Your donation can help us to ensure women have the means to manage their reproductive health and futures, regardless of their stage of life or socioeconomic standing. Your contributions will help us cultivate partnerships among multisectoral learning network leaders, continue to offer a robust MPT resource hub, provide opportunities for professional development, and more. Donate on our website today.