Monday, February 13, 2012

Meet our Newest Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate: Abimbola Onigbango Williams!

“Rectal microbicides are an important priority that need to be fully explored to provide males and females who engage in anal sex a way to protect themselves from HIV and perhaps other sexually related infections.”

Abimbola is an IRMA advocate from Lagos, Nigeria. There she is a public health researcher and advocate. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and is currently a Fulbright Scholar/ Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At Johns Hopkins her fellowship is focused on Public Health and Policy Management with an emphasis on Health Systems Strengthening.

Abimbola first became involved with IRMA when she attended the Project ARM meeting in Addis in December. The meeting gave her the opportunity to understand new ideas and perspectives on how to integrate anal health and rectal microbicides into her work as a researcher and advocate. It was also a great place to find common ground with meeting participants from all over the world on issues related to rectal microbicides. She thought the meeting was a huge success and left feeling inspired!

She believes rectal microbicides are a top priority, and we need to dedicate more time and resources to their development. She is already creating a greater awareness of rectal microbicides by educating individuals and key stakeholders through advocacy visits, information sharing, and helping them disseminate research materials.

Her advice to other IRMA advocates is to keep up the robust discussion on the listserv and continue advocating for healthy anal intercourse regardless of peoples’ sexual orientations. She also has a great tactic for combating stigma she faces for standing up for rectal microbicides. She first tries to educate people about health and anal health to create a safe space for a healthy discussion. Then, she brings up the idea of rectal microbicides. She finds this is especially helpful if someone isn’t very familiar with anal intercourse.

In her free time she loves travelling, playing badminton, and knitting.

Thanks Abimbola for all that you do!

[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.]

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...