Saturday, March 15, 2008

[Delhi Dynamos] Sholotan Abdulrahaman Oladimeji of Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence from IRMA advocates
by way of India

M2008 memories and the path forward

Delays don't slow this dynamo down!

by Sholotan Abdulrahaman Oladimeji


I am Sholotan Abdulrahaman Oladimeji from Nigeria and I want to tell you about my experience at the Microbicides 2008 international conference in New Delhi, India. I had a really great time at the conference . It was the chance of a lifetime and opportunity to travel to India to attend this great international conference that involved pupils from all over the globe.

My trip to New Delhi was exhausting because I left Nigeria on the 22nd of February, 2008 at around 1:40 pm and I made the first stop over at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia and I had to wait for an hour before getting the connecting flight to CSIA International Airport in Mumbai and after getting there it was around 05:45 am Nigeria time. I had some delays at the CSIA Airport, because the International Airport terminal was undergoing a massive renovation and some major part of the main terminal was closed. Due to this delay I missed the flight to New Delhi and I had to wait at the their local airport for like five hours and the most funny aspect of this was that one of the airline officials said that I had to pay some for having missed my flight. I led them to understand that it wasn't my fault and that it was due to the delays I encountered at the CSIA International Airport.

I arrived at the New Delhi airport and I passed through the immigration. Yhen I went to collect my baggage. What I saw next were the staffs from the conference with a large "MICROBICIDES 2008" sign. Anyway I got over that and I made my way to the hotel. On my way to the Le Meridien hotel, I felt so at home and it then struck me that this city was no different from Lagos, except for the motor part with other road users. Getting to the hotel that was among the most unforgettable experience I had in attending M2008; because I had never dreamt of sleeping a nite in a five star hotel at my young age, talk less of four good days, praise thy Lord "Allahu Akbar".

On the conference day which was on the 24th of February, 2008, I left Le Meridien Hotel for Ashok Hotel were the conference took place around 7:45 am Indian local time. After getting to the place, I went straight to the registration stand to collect all the conference material and I looked at the conference highlights. I decided to join the Rectal Microbicide Update Symposium. Rectal microbicide research and development is important, because it is an alternative approach to prevent both men and women for transmitting diseases.

I believe that both men and women that participated in the M2008 learned more than they had thought possible and left with some unforgettable memories.

My impression was that microbicide development is very much about empowering women. However, this conference highlighted the importance of engaging men and some of the abstract presentations showed us the challenges of involving men who were resistant to changing sexual practices. My understanding was that when men are engaged in the trial process with their partners there is more likely to be compliance of gel use.

Rectal microbicides will be important to men and women and more particular interest in Lagos, because many pupils in this city context, as HIV in the city is transmitted through anal intercourse without the use of a condom, and primarily in MSM communities. Human sexuality is extremely complex but I believe that rectal microbicides will offer a harm reduction method for most of the people who want to have sex the way they want. People have dangerouos sex because they find it enjoyable, more enjoyable than safe sex. For some people, no prevention program will change their behavior but rectal microbicides might allow for an alternative form of protection.

My only caveat is I was not able to attend everything. There wasn't time for cloning but I covered as much as I could, and more than I had anticipated.

In my free time, I read, watch premiership football league and do some searching on microbicide news and articles.

Sholotan Abdulrahaman Oladimeji
Official IRMA blogger
Lagos, Nigeria

[remember to visit the IRMA website]


Anonymous said...

Hello Sholotan,
This is wonderful and great to have this great opportunity to attend the MICROBICIDE 2008.

Just keep it up okay.Take care and make more research on how to fight aganist HIV/AIDS with other diseases and those that engage in annal sex.

We need more of this.........!

From New York City

Deepa said...

Sholotan this lovely and sound good.

My name is Deepa from New Delhi.

So Nice, So Great and Lovely

kate marecus said...

we all happy to see u doing great thing and we want u to know that great thing start from grass.From grass to grace.

kate marecus

Henry John said...

Hello Microbicide delegate,
You had a great experience at your young age this is good for you

Take care.

Henry John
South Africa

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