ARHP Commentary ― Thinking (Re)Productively| Volume 88, ISSUE 3, P321-325, September 2013

Delivering on MPTs: addressing the needs, rising to the challenges and making the opportunities

      The Greek philosopher Plato famously remarked that, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Or, in more contemporary language, difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions. Let's hope this popular proverb holds true — the (re)emerging and reenergised research area of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) will undoubtedly need a double measure of inspiration, creative thinking and tenacity to help begin address some of the priority issues within reproductive and sexual health. The underlying facts are both startling and sobering: each year, 40% of the >200 million pregnancies worldwide are unintended [
      • Singh S.
      • Sedgh G.
      • Hussain R.
      Unintended pregnancy: worldwide levels, trends, and outcomes.
      ] and 448 million treatable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) [i.e. not including syphilis, HIV, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human papillomavirus (HPV)] are contracted [
      ]; >80% of HIV infections are now acquired through sexual transmission [
      ]. Young women in developing countries disproportionately bear the brunt of these health risks [

      Singh S, Darroch JE. Adding it up: Costs and benefits of investing in family planning and maternal and newborn health. Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2011.

      ], although teenage pregnancy and STI rates are also worryingly high and increasing in many developed countries [
      • Rompalo A.
      Preventing sexually transmitted infections: back to basics.
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