Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet Vanessa Marquez - A Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate

"Thank the universe for organizations such as IRMA and individuals who are willing to inform and educate the population at large about the heavily stigmatized topic of anal sex. Without their efforts the possibility of rectal microbicides being readily accepted as a prevention method may not be possible. We must continue to lay the foundation for such important work that could save the lives of millions." - Vanessa Marquez, Boston, USA
Vanessa Marquez, a Clinical Research Nurse at The Fenway Institute in Boston is a proud advocate for rectal microbicides among many other HIV prevention methods. She was born in New York to parents who emigrated from Latin America and was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Vanessa became interested in HIV prevention after volunteering as a massage therapist at an HIV alternative therapies clinic in San Francisco, CA. She got involved with IRMA through her work with the Microbicide Trials Network. She feels very fortunate to have found her dream job immediately after graduating nursing school, and is excited about the possibilities of continuing to advocate for important prevention methods like rectal microbicides.

She believes that rectal microbicides provide a very important other option for HIV prevention. Her work on the iPrEx study has led her to understand that "the more options individuals have, the more likely it is that they will use these prevention technologies".

In her advocacy work she meets with clients each week for microbicide study visits, presents information on anal sex through a skit of her creation called "The Shameless Plug." Vanessa feels that the destigmatization of anal sex and health will lead to more conversations with medical providers, which will hopefully lead to more options like rectal microbicides.

Vanessa, who speaks fluent Spanish, enjoys reading, attending classical music concerts, learning new languages, volunteering in community events, traveling, and being with her family in her free time.

Read about other friendly rectal microbicides advocates. Newly featured advocates include Daniel Nuñez, Amy Stapleford Jackson, Maheswar Satpathy, Luis Fernando Galarza, and Mark Hubbard.

Want to join the best e-mail discussion list on new prevention technologies on the planet? Send a note to IRMA here - - and we will get you signed up.Joining the list makes you an automatic IRMA member too!
[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

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