Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Prevention technologies for HIV and STIs at AIDS 2014

Multipurpose prevention technologies for HIV and STIs in spotlight at AIDS 2014

by Shobha Shukla
July 30, 2014

Women of reproductive age have a need for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and family planning methods. More importantly, women need prevention tools/methods that are under their control and do not leave them at the mercy of their partner, in as far as their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is concerned. Dr Elizabeth Bukusi, Deputy Director (Research and Training), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) spoke to Citizen News Service (CNS) at 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014).

She quoted Sharon Camp who had said: "Women want contraceptive methods that can protect against both pregnancy and disease without unpleasant side effects that do not interfere with sex, require little or no medical supervision and are effective when used post-coitally."

Hence developing products that can be used for dual purposes (multipurpose prevention technologies or MPTs) with a single mode of delivery is a critical need. MPTs are a range of prevention options, still in development, that will enable women to address their sexual and reproductive health concerns as they change over time-- ranging from delay in first birth, to planning and spacing pregnancy, to long term or permanent method of contraception. But the need for prevention of STI/RTIs & HIV remains a lifelong overriding need throughout.

An MPT is a single product, configured for at least two prevention indications: contraception, protection against HIV and other STIs, and other health benefits. It thus promises greater efficiency in terms of cost, access and delivery of prevention products.

There are a host of MPT options in the development pipeline. MPTs can be in the form of gels, intra-vaginal rings (IVRs), vaginal tablet, injectables or implantable barrier devices used with a gel or film that have a combination of contraceptive, microbicidal and/or anti- STI properties with different mechanisms of action that act to prevent pregnancy, HIV and/or STIs. They could be on demand--used around time of intercourse-- or could be sustained release devices like IVRs, which do not require daily action, or they could be long acting injectables.

According to Dr Nomita Chandhiok, Senior Scientist at the Division of and Child Health, Indian Council of Medical Research: "The main challenge of researchers, providers and policy makers is to address the primary sexual and reproductive health concerns of all women in terms of (i) Healthy timing & spacing of intended pregnancies, (ii) Safe birth for mother and child and (iii) Protection against STIs, including HIV. "

Dr Chandhiok added: "For a country like India, where unmet contraception needs of women are high, along with high fertility and maternal mortality rates, MPTs offer great potential for public health impact through prevention of unintended pregnancies and HIV/STIs. Of course, the products will need to be tailored to address women’s changing needs throughout their life cycle and also keep in mind socio-cultural beliefs and practices, and the gender dynamics. Moreover users and providers perspective and positioning of product would impact product acceptability."

Understandably, the status and empowerment of women in society and within their households is critical for promoting change in reproductive attitudes and behaviour. If found safe and promoted strategically, MPTs will indeed transform the health of women.

Dr Bukusi concluded with a statement from Hillary Clinton: "Women's health is essential to the prosperity and opportunity of all, to the stability of families and communities, and the sustainability and development of nations. There is a direct line between women’s reproductive health and their ability to lead a productive, fulfilling life. Investing in the potential of women and girls is the smartest investment we can make."

*************

Shobha Shukla is the Managing Editor of Citizen News Service - CNS. She is reporting from the XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Programme. She is a J2J Fellow of National Press Foundation (NPF) USA and received her editing training in Singapore. She has earlier worked with State Planning Institute, UP and taught physics at India's prestigious Loreto Convent. She also co-authored and edited publications on gender justice, childhood TB, childhood pneumonia, Hepatitis C Virus and HIV, and MDR-TB. www.citizen-news.org

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Existential Crisis About What To Do With Putin, And The Islamic State

Say one thing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least he’s given NATO a purpose in life. Right now, that consists of being something that Barack Obama and David Cameron can hide behind, point at Putin, and say : “Go get him, tiger.” Just what NATO is supposed to do about Putin’s armed advance into eastern Ukraine is less than clear. But there is a lot of “steely determination” around in high places. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news