Thursday, July 9, 2009

From Spain: Microbicides and Gender: An Open Debate

Planeta Salud organized a roundtable discussion in Barcelona on May 26th, 2009, to analyze and discuss the issues surrounding microbicides and their potential effects on gender, power roles and sexual health within a Spanish context.

The event was attended by more than twenty participants representing a variety of fields such as women’s rights, gender issues, HIV/AIDS prevention, immigrant populations and the health administration. The multidisciplinary nature of the audience permitted a wide range of comments, observations and critiques to be expressed, offering a panoramic look into the HIV prevention context.

Participants discussed a wide range of issues, including: the realities of sexual prevention today, how microbicide introduction can build on lessons learned from participants’ experiences, risk reduction approaches, how men and women can work together on HIV prevention, the challenges of products with partial efficacy, and the need for sufficient funding, training and integration of microbicides into existing programs.

Many participants expressed interest in rectal microbicides, providing an opportunity for discussion and distribution of IRMA materials.

Planeta Salud will follow up with further sessions, awareness-raising and meetings with political stakeholders.

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