Tuesday, February 10, 2009

IRMA Announces New Steering Committee Members

Thirteen new members join IRMA's leadership
Push for greater investment, portfolio diversity, global plan

Click here to see individual names and pics of new and returning SC members.

International Rectal Microbicide Advocates
(IRMA) is delighted to announce the final selection of 13 new members to our international advocacy network’s Steering Committee (SC). An exhaustive process over several months brought in a total of 24 superlative applicants, and after a thorough evaluation, the Nominations Committee highly recommended 13 individuals to join.

“We were both thrilled and humbled by the very high quality of the applications we received for the Steering Committee,” said Marc-André LeBlanc, IRMA Secretary. “With limited space, this made the work of the Nominations Committee quite challenging. As it is, the group recommended more individuals than we had planned for – so we expanded the SC to accommodate.”

With the new members, the IRMA SC is now comprised of 23 individuals from 11 countries on six continents. The group is charged with providing strategic advice, expert guidance and scientific leadership for IRMA’s advocacy objectives, including the call for greater investment in rectal microbicide research, development and advocacy activities, a diversification of funders in the rectal microbicide portfolio, and the articulation of a Global Rectal Microbicide Development Plan.

“The honeymoon for the new SC is going to be sweet, but very short. IRMA has a lot of work to do to fight the stigma and denial surrounding anal sex practices the world over as well as advocate for expanded new prevention technology resources that will provide adequate funding to the underfunded rectal microbicide field,” said IRMA Chair Jim Pickett.

“Being that anal intercourse is a common behavior among heterosexual men and women, gay men, and other men who have sex with men globally, and since unprotected anal intercourse is 5 to 80 times more likely to result in HIV transmission compared to unprotected vaginal intercourse, it is imperative we develop safe, effective and acceptable rectal microbicides for women and men,” Pickett continued.

SC members include:

1.Kadiri Audu, National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS and Population Control, Lagos, Nigeria
2.Deborah Baron, Microbicides Media and Communications Initiative, Johannesburg, South Africa
3.Latifa Boyce, Alliance for Microbicide Development, Washington, DC, USA
4.Dr. Alex Carballo-Dieguez, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
5.Dr. Ross Cranston, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
6.Cindra Feuer, AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, New York, NY, USA
7.Edward Fuchs, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
8.Lourence Misedah, Ishtar MSM, Nairobi, Kenya
9.Dr. Kathleen Morrow, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
10.Dr. Olanrewaju Onigbogi, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
11.Jo Robinson, Terrence Higgins Trust, London, UK
12.Dr. Jorge Sanchez, Peruvian HIV Clinical Trials Unit, Lima, Peru
13.Dr. Roger J. Tatoud, Imperial College London, London, UK

New SC members will join returning members who have, to date, been working with IRMA for almost three years. Returning members include:

1.Julie Davids, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project, Providence, RI, USA
2.Jerome Galea, University of California Los Angeles Program in Global Health, Lima, Peru
3.Bridget Haire, IRMA Vice Chair, Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, Sydney, Australia
4.Marc-André LeBlanc, IRMA Secretary, Global Campaign for Microbicides, Ottawa, Canada
5.Rick Jones, GNP+, Amsterdam, Netherlands
6.Jeremy Kwan, PT Foundation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
7.Dr. Ken Mayer, Brown University, Fenway Community Health, Boston, MA, USA
8.Dr. Ian McGowan, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
9.Jim Pickett, IRMA Chair, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
10.Roy Wadia, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada, currently in Mumbai, India

For more on IRMA’s advocacy goals and objectives, see “Less Silence, More Science – Advocacy to Make Rectal Microbicides a Reality,” published in 2008 and released at the Microbicides 2008 conference in New Delhi, India. Click here for the report in Spanish.

Click here to see individual names and pics of both new and returning SC members.

In the coming weeks and months, IRMA will be sharing a few profiles of our new SC members in the Meet a Friendly Rectal Microbicide section of the IRMA website.

1 comment:

Marc-André LeBlanc said...

A warm welcome to our fabulous new SC members! We look forward to working with you.


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