Advocates Archive - A
[please choose the first initial of the Advocate's last name]
Accra , Ghana
Innocent Afeke is a Medical Senior Research Assistant in Ghana, West Africa and is interested in researching herbal products strongly suspected of working as microbicides. He was drawn to IRMA because of its primary objective – the push for accelerated research and development of a safe, effective and acceptable rectal microbicide to combat the rate of HIV infection in women and men who engage in anal sex.
His concern is that the anatomy of the rectum makes it more susceptible to HIV infection than the vagina and the research supports the fact that a large number of women are having both anal and vaginal sex. As well, the existence of MSM is a global matter that goes beyond religion and social status, and therefore, a rectal microbicide needs to be a widely available product for both women and men.
HIV/AIDS advocates must work towards a solution that will prevent HIV during anal sex, Innocent believes. He also researches the conditions that set the stage for HIV infection, particularly in women. In his free time, he enjoys browsing the internet.
[posted March 2008]
Adebisi A. Alimi
Adebisi A. Alimi (Naz Project London) was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and currently resides in London, where he is fighting on the front lines of AIDS/HIV awareness as a sexual rights advocate and sexual health advisor. Adebisi became familiar with IRMA through Georgina Caswell of GNP+, but has been an advocate for AIDS/HIV rights for a few years now.
“I believe the best way to fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS is through prevention. It gives me excitement everyday that the battle against HIV can be won!”
Since his introduction to IRMA, Adebisi has been advocating for IRMA by raising the issue at the 2nd International Expert meeting in Amsterdam and circulating a newsletter to help increase awareness.
[Posted January 2010]
Oliver Anene is a Social Health Worker from the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, who has been an advocate for rectal microbicides in Nigeria since 2005. It was through his advocacy work there that Oliver got involved with IRMA.
Oliver realizes that, “Vaginal microbicides might only be useful to women, but a rectal microbicide will be useful for men and women alike.”
Since Oliver’s involvement with IRMA, he has advocated for rectal microbicides by conducting focus group discussions with MSM in three Nigerian states to learn their views about a potential rectal microbicide. Oliver has also written and published a rectal microbicide advocacy tool with the support of the UNAIDS Nigeria office.
[Posted April 2010]
Mexico City, Mexico
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Javier Arellano has taken a “full force” approach in the mission of advocating for rectal microbicides. Serving as the Deputy Director of Clinical Prevention of the Mexico City AIDS program, Javier was introduced to IRMA while attending the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
“I am absolutely sure about the microbicides as new technologies to prevent STDs, including HIV. I think microbicides are a complementary tool against fighting HIV,” he says.
Since getting involved with IRMA Javier has continued his research on the sexual health of MSM, advocated for rectal microbicides in his presentations and training sessions, and he also contributed to Life Lube’s “How are you healthy?” project, which has been one of the most popular posts on this gay men's health blog.
*Update - Javier now works for the United Nations Population Fund.
[Posted April 2010]
Henrik serves as the chairman of HIV-Danmark, a Copenhagen-based NGO. He has been involved in the Global Campaign for Microbicides for several years now, which eventually lead to his involvement with IRMA. “Funding in Denmark goes solely to an international group which only focuses on vaginal microbicides. And that needs to change.”
He believes that rectal microbicides are needed to make a “complete quilt” of prevention methods to address the diversity of human sexuality. Henrik’s commitment to microbicide advocacy is clear as he takes every opportunity to talk to key persons in the Danish government and in Danish organizations to draw focus to rectal microbicides in addition to vaginal microbicides.
And while Henrik is passionate about serving as a microbicide advocate, he also takes time for himself to relax and pursue his other passions of cooking, wining, and dining with friends and family.
[Posted July 2008]
IRMA Steering Committee Member, Community Vice Chair
Kadiri leads IRMA Nigeria. Click here for a fact sheet on this group,
Kadiri Audu is a recipient of a John Shaw Memorial Scholarship to attend the Microbicides 2008 conference, and is deeply honored to have been one of the nine applicants chosen.. He joined IRMA at Microbicides 2006 in Cape Town, South Africa. Kadiri is a social worker involved with youth development and advocacy, along with HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and control.
IRMA appeals to Kadiri because of its focus on an otherwise suppressed group of people. He advocates for rectal microbicide research because he would like to see to see every group of people have the right to good health and access to adequate health care. Kadiri believes in the importance of globally available rectal microbicides as people in every part of the world engage in anal sex and have the right to access safe, effective and acceptable rectal microbicides as a means of protection.
Kadiri's youth work also includes engaging and empowering the less privileged in Nigerian society. In his free time he reads and does various types of research.
[posted February 2008]
[Read her first-person narrative on the IRMA blog here.]
Proscovia joins IRMA's efforts from her home in Soroti, Uganda where she is a teacher and HIV/AIDS counselor. As a rectal microbicide advocate, Proscovia is actively involved in a project aiming to mobilize HIV positive women and lessen the stigma through education efforts in rural Uganda. Searching for an opportunity to participate in more preventative research that is safe, effective, and accessible and aims to develop a microbicide that is affordable and easy for all to use, Proscovia found IRMA. She hopes all HIV/AIDS advocates will reach out to those who specifically engage in anal sex because they are equally at risk of infection and need supportive services.
When Proscovia is not spending her professional time counseling clients and talking with communities about HIV/AIDS, she enjoys reading. Living with HIV since 1997, Proscovia also likes traveling overseas to share her personal story and inspire others.
[Posted May 2008]