Advocates Archive - D
[please choose the first initial of the Advocate's last name]
Providence, RI, USA
IRMA Steering Committee Member
Julie Davids believes that HIV prevention work needs to be “guided by reality and science, not stereotypes and squeamishness.” As the Executive Director of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) in Providence, Rhode Island, Julie recognizes that HIV is not only a medical emergency, but also a crisis in social justice and human rights. New prevention technologies that are easy to use, practical, inexpensive or free, and that “fit in with the ways that real people have real sex” are needed right now to slow the epidemic.
Like other advocates and researchers, Julie believes that if a microbicide of any sort is developed, people will use it in any and every bodily orifice that they can; because of this it is essential to have a rectally-effective microbicide without making assumptions about who does and does not engage in anal sex. She thinks that a rectal microbicide is one of the important steps to ensuring that members of marginalized and criminalized communities (gay men and other MSM, transgender or gender-variant people, sex workers, etc.) can protect themselves from HIV — but we must also fight for the human rights of all to live free of harassment or persecution, regardless of their sexuality or gender.
In her professional work at CHAMP, Julie “enjoys teaching people to raise hell and win victories." In her spare time, she enjoys birdwatching and kayaking, making up songs about everyday things and singing them to her cat, and falling asleep on the beach.
Julie is a member of the IRMA Steering Committee and one of IRMA's founders. Without her, we'd be nothing!
[posted February 2008]
Charlene Dezzutti is a Pittsburgh native, who lived down south while working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA prior to her current job as an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. It was during her time at the CDC, that Charlene began her work with microbicides for HIV prevention. Charlene sees microbicides as a critical component in the prevention package, saying “HIV does not discriminate against anyone so we must be prepared to help everyone.”
Her involvement with IRMA was initiated while she worked at the CDC, however, since getting involved Charlene’s passion for microbicides has only grown, always happy to spread the word about the importance of microbicides, and has given talks to her own colleagues as well as community groups to raise awareness of microbicides, as well as rectal-specific microbicides.
[Posted January 2010]
Dazon Dixon Diallo
.Dazon Dixon Diallo has been concerned about alternative options to safer sex and risk reduction for women at risk for HIV for the last 26 years, and currently participates on the local, national, and international scene with regard to microbicide research and development. She is a member of the Global Campaign for Microbicides Steering Committee and of the African Microbicides Advocacy Group, and believes that IRMA is an important partner in the advocacy field for microbicides.
She thinks that developing a rectal microbicide is important for a number of reasons: because more people (both men and women) engage in anal sex than are ready to admit or talk about it, because women who are not able to negotiate condom use for vaginal sex may be even less likely to do so for anal sex, because of the potential for alliance-building between women and MSM if they advocate for things in conjunction with one another, and because “the answer to ‘WHY NOT???’ will probably be unacceptable to any HIV/AIDS advocate!”
Ms. Diallo is the founder and president of SisterLove, Inc., a non-profit reproductive health/HIV organization for women in the U.S. (based in Atlanta) and South Africa, and strives to “move humanity to a more loving, healthy, peaceful, caring, and sustainable co-existence.” She volunteers as a producer and host of a radio program that focuses on Black women around the world, and enjoys reading and driving on long, quiet trips with no one but herself and her spirit angels (ancestors).
[posted March 2008]
Cape Town , South Africa
“There is a need to provide people with choices about how to prevent the transmission of HIV. From what we know, condom use for anal sex, particularly between men and women, is very low. Rectal microbicides may provide a safe, feasible and user-friendly answer to preventing HIV transmission through anal sex."
Zoe Duby hails from Cape Town, South Africa, and is a social science and public health researcher specializing in the social context of HIV, high risk sex and most-at-risk-populations (MARPs). Duby has found IRMA to be a great resource for her Master's and PhD research, which focuses on heterosexual anal sex and HIV.
Through work with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Duby organizes and facilitates the MSM Sensitivity Training for Health Care Workers in Africa. With the Foundation, she has successfully trained over 160 health care workers in South Africa, and distributed 500 MSM Sensitivity Manuals. A second edition of the manual is currently being developed, and 400 more health care workers will be trained over the next year.
Duby is also an active advocate for bringing anal sex and anal health (heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual) onto the HIV prevention and treatment agenda. Much of her work aims to highlight anal sex (especially between men and women) as a neglected vector for HIV transmission.
When she's not spurring social change, Duby is outside surfing, climbing, running, hiking and cycling.
Read Zoe's paper "Heterosexual Anal Sex in the Age of HIV."
[Posted November 2010]