Africa Needs Rectal Microbicides Too
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Africa Needs Rectal Microbicides Too

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Unprotected anal intercourse (AI) plays an important role in African HIV epidemics. Until recently, rectal microbicides (RMs) have not been part of the broader HIV prevention agenda in Africa, due in ...

Unprotected anal intercourse (AI) plays an important role in African HIV epidemics. Until recently, rectal microbicides (RMs) have not been part of the broader HIV prevention agenda in Africa, due in part to the denial that AI takes place among heterosexual men and women and to the pervasive homophobia that has criminalized and/or negated the existence of gay men and other men who have sex with men. IRMA (International Rectal Microbicide Advocates) launched Project ARM—Africa for Rectal Micro-bicides to ensure Africa is on the world´s RM research and advocacy agenda.

On Monday, July 23, IRMA's Project ARM initiative presented this poster at AIDS 2012 - highlighting strategies to ensure Africa is on the rectal microbicide research and advocacy map. For more information on Project ARM, visit http://irma-rectalmicrobicides.blogspot.com/p/project-arm-africa-for-rectal.html

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Africa Needs Rectal Microbicides Too Africa Needs Rectal Microbicides Too Document Transcript

  • AFRICA NEEDS RECTAL MICROBICIDES TOO STRATEGIES TO ENSURE AFRICA IS ON THE RECTAL MICROBICIDE RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY MAP AFRICAN LED, AFRICAN INSPIRED—AFRICA FOR RECTAL MICROBICIDES BACKGROUND: Unprotected anal intercourse (AI) plays an important role in African HIV epidemics. Until recently, rectal microbicides (RMs) have not been part of the broader HIV prevention agenda in Africa, due in part to the denial that AI takes place among heterosexual men and women and to the pervasive homophobia that has criminalized and/or negated the existence of gay men and other men who have sex with men. IRMA (International Rectal Our diverse sexualities in Africa shouldn’t Microbicide Advocates) launched Project ARM—Africa for Rectal Micro- be defined only by the prevention tools we have available. HIV prevention tools must bicides to ensure Africa is on the world´s RM research and advocacy agenda. be adapted to our sexualities. Alliance Nikuze, Rwanda METHODS: In December 2011, 40 individuals from 10 African and 3 non-African The tag line for GLAM sums it up. Whenever countries participated in a two-day strategy meeting, held in Addis Ababa, someone says “condoms,” we say “And Lube.” You cannot say one without the other. Access Ethiopia. Participants shared and considered diverse African perspectives, to condom-compatible lubricant is deplorable developing priority actions for RM research and advocacy grounded and all across Africa—it’s unacceptable, and we are working to change that. sustained in African countries. Tian Johnson, South Africa RESULTS: Africans need rectal microbicides and they “On The Map: Ensuring Africa’s Place in Rectal Microbicide Research need to be part of the advocacy, research and development processes that are essential and Advocacy,” published in April 2012, defines seven RM research and to creating products that are not only safe advocacy priority actions specific to Africa. Top among these priorities are: and effective but acceptable and accessible • The GLAM campaign (Global Lube Access Mobilisation) to increase too. As co-principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network, I pledge our access to condom-compatible lubricants for Africans who engage in AI; full support for the efforts of Project ARM. • Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours Surveys documenting AI Ian McGowan, United States practices and perspectives; and • The development of educational tools on anal sex/anal health. In Zimbabwe and across Africa, we are struggling to get people living with HIV into care and treatment. We have to do much JOIN PROJECT ARM: better, and we have to do much better on the prevention side. I see a rectal microbicide as Since the “On The Map” strategy document was released, IRMA has been an important prevention strategy for Africa reaching out to individuals and organizations to join Project ARM efforts. to embrace. Martha Tholanah, Zimbabwe All interested Africans and allies are invited to help ensure Africa is on the RM map. If interested, visit IRMA at www.rectalmicrobicides.org and send an email to rectalmicro@gmail.com. We can’t forget about the issue of human rights and criminalisation. If a gay man is not safe to be himself in any African country, he won’t be able to gain access to rectal microbicides once they are available. A rectal microbicide will get dusty on the shelf if people are afraid for their lives. Gift Trapence, MalawiAuthors: J. Pickett 1, 2, M.-A. LeBlanc 2, K. Audu 2, 3, C. Feuer 4, T. Johnson 5, B. Kanyemba 6, T. Muyunga 7, M. Ukpong 8 Read more about GLAM and the otherInstitution(s): 1 AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, United States, 2 International Rectal Microbicide Advocates, Chicago, United States, priority actions in the report here: www.rectalmicrobicides.org/ProjectARMreport2012.pdf.3 International Center for Advocacy on Right to Health, Lagos, Nigeria, 4 AVAC—Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, New York City, UnitedStates, 5 The African Alliance for HIV Prevention, Johannesburg, South Africa, 6 Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa,7 Most At Risk Populations’ Society in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda, 8 New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society, Lagos, Nigeria