Unsafe sex is one of the highest risk factors for disability and death worldwide. Each year, 340 million people acquire one of the four primary curable sexually transmitted infections, another 4.3 million become infected with HIV, and unknown numbers acquire chronic viral and bacterial infections. In addition, recent research estimates that over 200 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for effective contraceptives. There is an urgent need to develop safe, effective, and accessible multi-purpose technologies that will prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and other common reproductive tract infections.
This international symposium, held at UC Berkeley in March 2009, provided a rare opportunity for practitioners, advocates, researchers, and product developers to explore new research on prevention technologies for sexual and reproductive health.
Over 150 people attended, from the public and private sectors in the US, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, and New Zealand. They shared research on:
- The need for inexpensive, effective, and integrated technologies
- Developing new vaccines, devices, and microbicides
- Integrating the prevention of HIV, STI, and unintended pregnancies
- Increasing global access to existing and new technologies
- Enhancing existing technologies