World Contraception Day — Family Planning Integral to Women's Health

Six years ago, the international community united behind a vision for the first World Contraception Day to raise awareness about contraceptives among young people, and empower them to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. This annual milestone is also a reminder of just how important it is to offer women access to an array of safe and effective family planning methods.   

Today’s observance marks a year of renewed focus on family planning and women’s sexual and reproductive health, underscored by political and financial commitments made at the July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning. We need to build on this momentum.

Women’s contraceptive needs do not exist in isolation but are an integral part of their overall health. The future looks promising for technologies designed to address a variety of women’s health needs in a single product. Our work at the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) focuses on creating HIV prevention products for women, such as our monthly dapivirine ring now in efficacy trials. Last year, with support from USAID, we began developing our first dual-purpose product — a long-acting vaginal ring to protect against unintended pregnancy and HIV, both causes of serious health complications and death for women worldwide.

Although IPM only recently expanded into the contraception field, we are heartened by the passion and dedication of the people and organizations that have long been working to unite the HIV and the sexual and reproductive health communities. Integrated care has the potential to improve health system efficiency, increase access to care for at-risk women, and reduce stigma.

As we work to make HIV and multipurpose prevention products a reality for women worldwide, IPM wholeheartedly supports all those fighting to increase awareness about contraception, its importance to women’s health, and the need for additional tools.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and please spread the word about World Contraception Day!