Tuesday, May 13, 2008

News of IRMA-ALC Spreads Around the Globe!

da la bienvenida a

In its latest issue of GC News, which reaches an audience of nearly 1,000 people from around the world, the Global Campaign for Microbicides spreads the good news about the creation of IRMA-ALC (América latina y El Caribe).

Check the GCM web site to read the latest issue of GC News and to get microbicides resources in Spanish.

Visiten la página web de GCM para leer la última edición de GC News y para obtener algunos recursos en español sobre los microbicidas.

From GC News:

Advocacy in Action: New Rectal Microbicides Network in Latin America and the Caribbean

International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA) is very excited to share an important development for global rectal microbicides advocacy efforts. A new sister network has been created - IRMA-ALC (América Latina y El Caribe) - which will focus on rectal microbicide advocacy and research efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean.

IRMA-ALC has been formed by members in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, who are co-chairs of the new network, including:

- Jerome Galea from the UCLA Program in Global Health in Peru and IRMA Steering Committee member
- Dr. Javier and Dr. Jorge Sánchez from Investigaciones médicas en salud (INMENSA), a health research institute in Peru
- Beatrice Grinsztejn, Valdilea Veloso and José Henrique Pilotto from FIOCRUZ, a public health institute in Brazil
- Orlando Monotya from EQUIDAD, a gay, lesbian, bisexual organization in Ecuador

"Although there is evidence of high frequency of anal sex among both men and women in Latin America, there is little interest in implementing clinical trials for rectal microbicides in the region", according to IRMA-ALC co-chair Dr. Jorge Sánchez. "The Latin American chapter of IRMA will advocate for a critical look at various opportunities for rectal microbicides research and push for its development in the region. We also want to facilitate the process for integrating these HIV prevention research efforts at a regional level, while instigating South-South collaboration." (original quote in Spanish can be accessed here.)

IRMA-ALC has a logo and new page on the IRMA web site. They will disseminate information in Spanish, and perhaps eventually in Portuguese. There is now a Spanish-language listserv that members can join from the web site.

"In all of Latin America and the Caribbean, there are only two microbicide clinical trials underway, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in Puerto Rico; both are for vaginal products. These studies represent important steps in the advancement of microbicide research", said Jerome Galea. "Together with IRMA, IRMA-ALC provides a framework for citizens, advocates and scientists from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to put rectal microbicides on the regional map by disseminating information in local languages and promoting their culturally competent research and development."

"This wonderful development is another indication of the success IRMA is having collaborating with researchers and advocates around the world to spur global advocacy for rectal microbicide research and development. I am delighted that IRMA has a new sister, and love watching our family grow," said Jim Pickett, IRMA Chair.

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