Tuesday, August 5, 2008

...To The Land of Rectal!

¨Rectal microbicides are incredibly important,
and need to be developed.¨

Yesterday, at AIDS 2008, there was a huge session entitled -
Vaccines and Microbicides: Where Do We Go from Here?

Click the link to take you to Kaiser´s video and podcast of the entire program.

But let us quickly highlight this interesting session... While overall, there was not much said about rectal microbicides, there were some key moments to make rectal microbicide advocates giddy.

Panelist Zeda Rosenberg (pictured middle), Chief Executive Officer of
International Partnership for Microbicides who spoke on ¨Antiretroviral-Based Microbicides and IPM,¨ was asked by moderator Mitchell Warren (pictured bottom), Executive Director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition about rectal microbicides.

And this is what she had to say

¨Rectal microbicides are incredibly important, and need to be developed.¨

Zeda went on to say that while the ¨proof of concept¨was simpler to determine for vaginal microbicides, and that creating safe and effective rectal microbicides mean dealing with some distinct formulation challenges, the research and development of rectal microbicides ¨need to be encouraged.¨


Also on the panel was IRMA Steering Committee member Manju Chatani, Coordinator of the African Microbicide Advocacy Group, (pictured top) who spoke on Microbicide Community Mobilization and Trial Participation.¨ She mentioned the good advocacy and community work of IRMA several times and underlined the need both men and women have for safe, effective, acceptable rectal microbicides.


These simple ¨shout outs¨ in high·profile venues are important to IRMA and more significantly, to the field at large. We hope these type of endorsements from respected leaders in the microbicide field will help encourage new funders to come to the table with resources, resources, resources for both research and development activities as well as advocacy work. Rectal microbicide research needs, conservatively, to have at least a 5x increase in yearly expenditures, from approximately $7 million USD to $35 million if we are to have a healthy drug development pipeline.

And our advocacy efforts also need support!

Advocacy, community education, awareness, engagement and mobilization activities are all critical factors in moving the field forward.
Don´t forget about IRMA!

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