Background HIV/AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide (1). In sub-Saharan Africa with highest burden of HIV/AIDS, young women 15–24 are at least twice more likely to be infected with HIV than young men (2). Women and girls are predominantly vulnerable to infection mainly due to gender inequalities, cultural or religious practice, and economic and social dependence upon men, yet they lack the appropriate tools to protect themselves.
Objectives To describe USAID's research portfolio in development and introduction of microbicides to further reduce the risk of HIV amongst young girls and women.
Methods We reviewed funding trends of translation research activities supported by the USAID between 2005 and 2014. We assessed characteristics of the USAID funded activities by following domains – research and development (R&D) to product introduction continuum; programmatic purpose, target population and design approach.
Result USAID has funded a range of translational activities such as establishing an interdisciplinary microbicide working group; supporting regulatory, licensure, and manufacturing needs assessments; developing and implementing communication and advocacy strategies, microbicide readiness assessment tools and gender analysis tools; carrying out cost- and cost-effectiveness modeling for microbicide introduction; and developing and implementing a social science and operations research agenda for microbicide introduction, demand, and delivery.USAID's overall microbicides research and development (R&D) agenda falls into three major domains T1: Development of microbicides and multi-purpose prevention technology (MPT) candidates for human testing ( i.e., pre-clinical development to clinical testing); T2: Understanding user's choice and perspectives on acceptable product profiles (i.e., translation to end users and populations); and T3: Development of implementation approaches and strategies to introduce and scale-up novel products and integrate them to existing health systems (i.e., translation to national program).
Conclusion USAID remains committed to developing and introducing safe, effective and user-friendly microbicides and MPTs to reduce young girls’ and women's risk of HIV infection.
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.