PATH: Protecting women from HIV & AIDS, and unintended pregancy

PATH staffer Cristina Butler holding a Woman's Condom female condom.
PATH staffer Cristina Butler holding a Woman’s Condom female condom.

As part of the Imagine2030 campaign we want to show that innovation is not just something for the future. Biomedical advances being made right now will shape how we fight diseases of poverty in the future, and are delivering changes every day. It will be these advances, and the organisations behind them, that will bring us closer to our goal: an end of diseases of poverty by 2030.

For our focus on HIV & AIDS in January 2017, our partners at PATH share the latest developments in the field of “dual protection” – working as they are to protect women and girls from HIV & AIDS and unintended pregnancy. Read on to find out more!

Millions of women and adolescent girls worldwide have an urgent need for “dual protection” from HIV & AIDS and unintended pregnancy. Yet few prevention methods are designed with both these needs in mind.  That is why PATH designed and advanced the Woman’s Condom, an innovative female condom designed for improved acceptability and ease of use that helps put the power of dual protection in women’s hands

With support from a variety of private and public funders, PATH and its research partners developed the Woman’s Condom through extensive testing and input from women and couples on four continents. The user-centered process led to design features that enable easy insertion, secure fit during use, good sensation, and easy removal. Clinical studies indicate that the Woman’s Condom is safe, acceptable, easy to use, and that it performs well when compared to other female condom products.

From 2011-2015, with funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PATH led a product development partnership (PDP) to introduce and build demand for this new product globally and in select countries (China and South Africa). Key PDP activities included strengthening product production, submitting regulatory applications, conducting market research to guide early introduction, generating additional evidence through research, and conducting advocacy to improve the enabling environment for female condoms.

Expanded access to the Woman’s Condom and life-saving dual protection is now on the horizon. In February 2016, the Woman’s Condom received World Health Organization/United Nations Population Fund prequalification, which allows international purchasers to procure the product for public-sector distribution. The Woman’s Condom is also approved for use in Europe, as well as China, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia.

Learn more about PATH here.

Go back to