The Optimizing Prevention Technology Introduction on Schedule (OPTIONS) consortium was one of five interlinked projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to expedite and sustain access to antiretroviral-based HIV prevention products for women in sub-Saharan Africa. The consortium was funded from July 2015 to July 2020 and represented an international, multidisciplinary partnership that brought together a unique combination of global, regional and country experts across the antiretroviral (ARV) research-to-rollout continuum.
FHI 360 led the consortium alongside two additional global HIV prevention research and advocacy core partners: Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute and AVAC. Their global and regional technical expertise was complemented by six primary partners who brought specialized technical knowledge and strong in-country capacity: Avenir Health, FSG, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, LVCT Health, McCann Global Health and Pangaea Zimbabwe AIDS Trust.
Over the life of the project, OPTIONS built an effective platform for HIV prevention product introduction and scale-up, with an established network of consortium partners, a broad extended network of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) policymakers and implementers across 16 African countries, a library of evidence-informed tools and resources, and a reputation as a transparent, collaborative, cross-project, cross-country facilitator. OPTIONS played four major roles to accelerate and support PrEP introduction and scale-up:
- Established a product introduction framework and related set of tools to support PrEP policymakers and technical working groups to take a comprehensive systems approach to PrEP rollout
- Catalyzed momentum and facilitated multistakeholder, cross-partner action and learning to support PrEP rollout at the national, regional and global levels
- Tracked emerging challenges with PrEP scale-up and generated, synthesized and disseminated relevant evidence-informed, open-access tools and resources to unlock further progress
- Shaped the market in priority early-adopter countries for new PrEP products in the pipeline, specifically for the dapivirine vaginal ring
OPTIONS leaves a legacy of evidence, tools and resources that can be found at https://www.prepwatch.org/options-tools-resources/. Links to the OPTIONS value proposition and final suite of materials are listed below under the resources heading.
For more information and updates on the work being done by FHI 360 to support PrEP introduction and scale-up, please contact LearningNetwork@PrEPNetwork.org.
Microbicide Product Introduction Initiative (MPii)
The other four USAID MPii projects supporting ARV-based HIV prevention rollout are or were EMOTION, POWER, CHARISMA and GEMS. FHI 360 is a partner on the CHARISMA and GEMS projects.