Advocates Archive - L
[please choose the first initial of the Advocate's last name]
Pittsburgh, PA, US
“It is crucial we get the word out about all that is available to help reduce (and hopefully eradicate) HIV. Each and every year, we as advocates, researchers, scientists and doctors have to advance and ‘up the game’ in the fight against HIV. Rectal microbicides are something I remember when it was only in the “what if we could” stages. Now, I am astounded on how far it has come.”
Rita Labbett, a Pittsburgh, PA native, is the Research Recruiter for Project Gel, a RO1 study being conducted under the umbrella of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). In her role in a new study called "Project Gel", she will recruit participants for a longitudinal acceptability and adherence study of a placebo gel, including clinical and behavioral evaluations.
Rita was introduced to IRMA by the Co-Principal Investigator of the MTN and (IRMA Scientific Vice Chair) Dr. Ian McGowan. As an IRMA advocate, she is excited to be in such great company. Besides recruiting for studies with MTN, Rita studies the behavioral aspects of safer sex and microbicide acceptability. She is including rectal microbicide use as a sub-topic for her Ph.D. dissertation on sexual health behaviors and myths surrounding sexual health.
When she’s not working, she spends time with her busy son, Michael, and loves cooking and dancing hip hop.
[Posted November 2010]
IIRMA Steering Committee Member, Secretary
Marc-André is one of the original founding members of IRM A, and continues to serve as Secretary to the Steering Committee. His interest in rectal microbicides comes from his 15 years of community-based AIDS work, including advocacy and community mobilization for microbicides and other new prevention technologies in Canada, and globally. He believes rectal microbicides can help us all deal with the frustratingly difficult task of remaining as safe as possible in our most intimate moments.
Marc-André now works as a consultant on HIV, microbicides and vaccines for a number of national and international organizations and agencies, including as the Global North Programmes Coordinator for the Global Campaign for Microbicides. This includes coordination of advocacy and community mobilization efforts in North America and support to the European staff and the budding microbicides movement in Australia.
An avid film-watcher, Marc-André completed a film studies degree while working full-time -- just for fun! He loves to travel, but still feels the most beautiful place on earth is the ocean-side beach at his cottage in Atlantic, Canada, which has been in his family for five generations.
[Posted May 2008]
Ian R. Lemieux
Boston, MA USA
"Rectal microbicides may one day be our most safe and effective 'on scene' HIV prevention method. It is important that we take dynamic approaches to HIV prevention - given that the needs of persons globally will always be diverse," says Ian R. Lemieux.
Ian is a registered nurse working as a Clinical Study Coordinator at The Fenway Institute, a division of Fenway Health.He learned about IRMA through his work as a coordinator of microbicide research studies.
Since completing his graduate studies in epidemiology and biostatistics, he has been most interested in HIV prevention. Several years ago, Ian joined the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Global Outreach Team as a volunteer consultant.
Ian has been able to engage in HIV/AIDS work across the world, in Swaziland, Tanzania, Namibia, and Rwanda. During a recent project in Africa he had the opportunity to educate on the current rectal microbicides research and development activities. "No doubt many are counting on us, and are excited for the potential of these efforts!"
Ian meets with several clients each week for microbicide study visits. He enjoys educating people about microbicides, the importance of research currently underway, and the incredible potential of these prevention methods.
He is constantly on the move in his free time, whether teaching yoga classes, cycling, hiking, or travelling.
[Posted May 2011]