Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are an innovative class of products that deliver varied combinations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, other sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, and contraception. Combining separate strategies for different indications into singular prevention products can reduce the stigma around HIV and STI prevention, improve acceptability of and adherence to more convenient products, and be more cost-effective by addressing overlapping risks.
Methods: This article outlines a strategic action framework developed as an outcome of a series of expert meetings held between 2014 and 2016. The meetings focused on identifying opportunities and challenges for MPTs that combine hormonal contraception (HC) with antiretroviral drugs into single products. The framework aims to present an actionable strategy, by addressing key research gaps and outlining the key areas for progress, to guide current and future HC MPT development.
Results: We identified eight primary action areas for the development of impactful HC MPTs, and includes aspects from epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical trial design, regulatory requirements, manufacturing and commercialisation, behavioural science, and investment needs for research and development.
Conclusion: Overall, the challenges involved with reconciling the critical social-behavioural context that will drive MPT product use and uptake with the complexities of research and development and regulatory approval are of paramount importance. To realise the potential of MPTs given their complexity and finite resources, researchers in the MPT field must be strategic about the way forward; increased support among policy-makers, advocates, funders and the pharmaceutical industry is critical.