Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet Suwat Chariyalertsak - A Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate from Thailand

Check out this interesting min-bio of Suwat Chariyalertsak, the latest in IRMA's "Meet a Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate" series on the IRMA website here. Suwat is one of six new bios just posted today, including individuals from Kenya, India, the UK, the US and Argentina. Each will be featured on the blog, and you can read about all of them here right now.



Suwat Chariyalertsak
Chiang Mai, Thailand

"Being involved in HIV/AIDS research for so many years has greatly influenced my life through seeing and learning from all the people I have worked with."

Suwat was originally born in Bangkok, Thailand, and moved to Chiang Mai shortly after graduating with an MD from medical school in Bangkok. Suwat is the director of the Research Institute for Health Sciences at Chiang Mai University. Suwat loves conducting research, but in his free time, enjoys watching television, listening to Thai music, and travelling with his family.

Suwat first got involved with IRMA after an invitation for his institute to participate in the MTN 017 study, which will be the world's first Phase II rectal microbicide study. He is excited to have the opportunity to work together with other clinical trial sites and Microbicide Trials Network leaders in preparing for this important study.

Suwat believes that rectal microbicides will play a very important role as a new option for HIV prevention, and, if prove effective, can be added onto other prevention methods that we are now using. "Rectal microbicide research will also help us learn and understand more about how anal intercourse plays an important role in HIV transmission," he says.

Suwat advises IRMA to include more international activities and to include more languages, including Thai, in order to increase participation in the future. He also believes that IRMA has already done a great job in such a challenging area.

Currently, Suwat is involved in other HIV prevention trials, including HPTN 052 and the iPrEx Open Label Extension.

Suwat has been working in HIV/AIDS for over twenty years, and was greatly influenced by several AIDS patients facing death due to the lack of available medicines and treatments in his country. However, now he has seen great progress and better ARV (antiretroviral) drugs to treat HIV/AIDS.

Yet, he recognizes that several challenges still exist in treatment and prevention.

He is appreciative of the people he has met throughout his years of experience, and his learning continues with each new patient and each new study.

Thanks Suwat for all that you do!

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*Join IRMA's robust, highly-active. moderated, global listserv addressing rectal microbicide research and advocacy as well as other interesting new HIV prevention technologies by contacting us at rectalmicro@gmail.com. Joining our listserv automatically makes you a member of IRMA - a network of more than 1,100 advocates, scientists, policy makers and funders from all over the world.

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