Monday, September 29, 2008

Meet Sean, a Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate

Sean Philpott
Washington, DC, USA

Sean Philpott is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Washington, D.C. where he is a Science and Ethics Officer for the Global Campaign for Microbicides. Sean’s first involvement with IRMA was through his work with the Global Campaign, one of IRMA's partners, and with several staff and steering committee members who have been involved with IRMA. Most recently, through conversations he’s had with Jim Pickett and Marc-Andre Leblanc, as well as explorations into the issue of pre-clinical and phase 1 microbicide trials like Peter Anton's work, he’s been thinking a lot about the safety issues associated with both vaginal and rectal microbicides (both as compartment-unique compounds and as compounds that may be used in either compartment).

Sean believes that rectal microbicides are important as it is pretty clear from a number of recent studies that men and women worldwide, heterosexual or homosexual, engage in anal intercourse fairly frequently. Because of the risk of acquiring HIV and other STIs through this route, it is essential to develop microbicides that are both safe to use rectally and that are formulated to be effective in preventing transmission of HIV and other sexually acquired infections during anal intercourse.

Sean creates awareness, educates and advocates for rectal microbicides through his work at the Global Campaign. He is currently exploring ways in which he can help Jim, Marc-Andre and other IRMA advocates to develop science and safety briefs to educate the community and policymakers about the need to develop these novel HIV/STI prevention technologies.

When asked what Sean does in his free time, he says, “what free time?” He is currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon and learning Portuguese in preparation for a trip to Brazil later this year. Cooking is also another activity he enjoys, and try to prepare dinner for himself and his partner almost every evening as a way to unwind and decompress from the work day.

Read about other Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocates here.

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