We regularly learn about how research is progressing toward creating alternative forms of reversible contraception for men that include pills, shots, or other devices. Despite the flurry of excitement these news pieces generate, it seems we are still quite far from mass-marketed male birth control.
Reaching quantitative goals should not take priority over quality of care, voluntary use of contraception, and informed choice. The needs, desires, and well-being of women are paramount.
Two separate research efforts—one looking to prevent STD transmission and the other looking to treat cancer—may ultimately lead to new options in contraception including a pill for men and a vaginal ring that prevents both STDs and pregnancy. But the journey from lab to pharmacy is long and we shouldn’t forget the good methods we already have.
I had heard that South Africans were warm and friendly, but imagine being hugged by 15 grannies! In South Africa, strong interventions are needed to reach out to children who are not currently accessing HIV treatment services. Since HIV is clustered in families, grannies who reach out to grannies may help children get the care they need.