Teleconferences 2015

Developing Dual Compartment MPTs That Work Up Front and From Behind
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The development of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) has emerged in recent years as a leading strategy to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes. José Fernández Romero, a Population Council virologist, will discuss the importance of MPTs designed to target different viral sexually transmitted infections and formulated for use in both vaginal and rectal compartments.

Thanks as ever to AVAC for co-hosting this teleconference with IRMA. A recording of this call we be made available here shortly after the teleconference.

Click here to access José's slides.

Update on the RM Pipeline: New Agents, New Formulations
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Presenters included Ross Cranston (MTN, University of Pittsburgh) talking about Dapivirine (an ARV) Kenneth Palmer (University of Louisville) discussing Griffithsin (a non-ARV agent), and Craig Hendrix of Johns Hopkins presented on his douche formulation project. Ian McGowan (MTN, Magee-Womens Research Institute) and IRMA's Jim Picket moderated the call.

Click here to access the slides.

Click here to access the audio recording.

MTN 017 - Evolution and Implementation
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

IRMA, AVAC and the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) came together to provide an update on the Phase II safety and acceptability study MTN 017 (now closed to accrual) and get a peak into potential future directions for rectal microbicide research. MTN's Dr. Ross Cranston, Protocol Chair for MTN-017, walked us through the evolution and implementation of 017 – the world's first-ever Phase II rectal microbicide trial. Following, Dr. Ian McGowan, Co-Principal Investigator of the MTN discussed ideas and directions for what the rectal future may hold in terms of advanced stage trial design and planning.

Click here to access Ross's slides.
Click here for the audio recording of this call.
Click here to view the Flash animation.

Teleconferences 2014

From the Booty's Point of View :
Using Perceptibility Data to Inform Rectal Microbicide Development

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Perceptibility is a new strategy for evaluating what products feel like and how they "behave" in the body (in the booty as well!), during insertion, everyday activities, and, of course, during sex. The hope is that, by understanding how product characteristics impact how they are felt and understood by potential users, we can better design products for pleasure and prevention. The wonderful Kate Morrow explained perceptibility and why it is so crucial to both pleasure and HIV prevention.

Click for Kate's slides here. Click here for the audio file. Click here for the full webinar in flash.

Many thanks to AVAC for helping IRMA host this call.

The Latest on Lab Tests, Lubed Monkeys, and Lube-Using Humans
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why should you care if sexual lubricants are safe or not? What do we know, and what do we need to know? What's happening to move the issue of lube safety forward? What's not happening?

IRMA, AVAC and our expert guests provided an exciting update on the latest in lubricant safety and helped us answer these important questions. Dr. Ellen Kersh of the CDC began the webinar with a discussion of a rectal challenge study done in monkeys using a hyperosmolar lube as a model for HIV risk and rectal lubricant use. Click for her slides here. Following, Dr. Kevin Rebe of Anova Health Institute shared findings from lube safety experiments he led using common lubes in South Africa (his slides are here), and Dr. Pamina Gorbach of UCLA presented brand new behavioral data a multi-site study at US STD clinics Her slides are here. IRMA's own Marc-André LeBlanc, our resident lube expert, concluded with a current snapshot of lubricant advocacy activities, including ways you can get involved to make progress on the lube safety agenda. Click here for his slides.

Click here for the full webinar in flash.

Click here for the audio file.

Pleasure, Protection, Love, Lust And Listening To Communities
The Future of HIV Prevention is Here: A Webinar in Memory of Jeff McConnell
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A respected and passionate sociologist, Jeff (who passed away at the age of 49 this past February) was also a gay man living with HIV, and his identity was an important component of the science he conducted. His brilliant, human-touch research on gay men's sex, sexuality, and various prevention methodologies involving treatment and PrEP was groundbreaking, visionary, and way ahead of most of us. Influential on a global scale, Jeff's work has given us powerful insight into social and sexual networks – and love and pleasure – as important, necessary components of HIV prevention efforts. Panelists memorialized Jeff by reminding us of his pivotal contributions to science and sharing anecdotes. We discussed wherewe are today and chart the future of HIV prevention – which is now. Panelists include: Gus Cairns, Editor, NAM Publications (Aidsmap), Pedro Goicochea, HIV Prevention Communications & Education Public Health Consultant, San Francisco, Robert Grant, Senior Investigator, University of California San Francisco – Gladstone Institutes, Suraj Madoori, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, and
Julie Davids, HIV Prevention Justice Allianc. Moderator: Jim Pickett, IRMA. Many thanks to AVAC for supporting this webinar.

Click here for access to the full flash of the webinar, to the slides, and to the audio files.

Are Rectal Douches Ripe for Further Rectal Microbicide Exploration?
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rectal douching is a relatively common behavior across the world.

So, should we be thinking seriously about developing a rectal microbicide as a douche? What do we know about rectal douching behavior globally? What are some of the most popular products used and by whom? What are the implications for rectal microbicide research and development? What are the gaps in rectal douche science?

Presenters Marjan Javanbakht and Jerome Galea engaged our participants on each of these questions. Marjan is lead author of the recently published "Prevalence and types of rectal douches used for anal intercourse: results from an international survey", and Jerome is lead author of "Rectal douching and implications for rectal microbicides among populations vulnerable to HIV in South America: a qualitative study",published in mid-2013.

Click here for Marjan's slides. Click here for Jerome's slides. Click here for the flash animation recording. Click here for the MP3 audio recording.



Teleconferences 2013

VOICE - what are the implications for rectal microbicide research?
Monday, April 8, 2013

Jeanne Marrazzo (VOICE protocol co-chair) and Ian McGowan (co-principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network) presented on the VOICE results and what they mean for the rectal microbicide field moving forward. Presentations: Pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV in women: daily oral tenofovir, oral tenofovir-emtricitabine, or vaginal tenofovir gel in the VOICE Study (MTN 003) - Jeanne Marrazzo. VOICE - What are the Implications for Rectal Microbicide Research? - Ian McGowan

Click here for a recording of the call.

This teleconference was made possible through a partnership with IRMA and AVAC.


Teleconferences 2012

The HIV Prevention Pipeline: A Future of Possibilities
Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the last two years there has been great progress in ARV-based prevention strategies - both in terms of PrEP and microbicides. Specifically, there has been enormous excitement and promise around two drugs - tenofovir and Truvada. And more recently, studies testing Dapivirine and Maraviroc have gotten underway.

But... is that all there is? What is happening in terms of pre-clinical work?

In this teleconference brought to you by IRMA and AVAC, the NIH's Jim Turpin examined current and emerging prevention candidates and delivery systems beyond pills, gels and rings, giving us a fascinating peek into the HIV prevention pipeline that we don't often hear about, well before large efficacy trials are imagined, even before small Phase I safety studies are in the picture.

Jim asked the questions on all of our minds: Is a sustainable pipeline of HIV prevention products beyond the current array of candidates possible? What does that look like? And what can advocates do to better engage in early, pre-clinical efforts years before human trials are in the picture?

Click here to download Jim's presentation slides.

Click here for the audio recording.


And in the beginning, there were Rectal Microbicides
Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Update on the CHARM Program

Click here for the presentation slides. Click here the call recording.

In this call, Ian McGowan, co-principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network and Principal Investigator of CHARM (the Combination HIV Antiretroviral Rectal Microbicide Program) provided an update on what is happening with this innovative program.

Funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in 2009, CHARM is an $11 million, five year, multicenter grant intended to advance candidate rectal microbicides from discovery into early clinical development. Rather than simply testing existing vaginal formulations of microbicides, CHARM seeks to develop rectal-specific products from the beginning.

Click here to download Ian's slides. Click here for the call recording.


The Shameless Plug
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Raise your hand if you've ever felt uncomfortable talking about anal sex and anal health. Have you noticed that people sometimes tend to cringe from embarrassment when the word "rectal" is uttered? Or that they may laugh a little too much, or try to change the subject too quickly?

If you can identify with any of that - it means you're human - welcome to the club! Dealing with other people's reluctance to talk about anal sex, including our own reluctance, is common. But if we're going to be effective rectal microbicide advocates, let alone Rectal Rock Stars, we must get over our anal issues, and we must help others do the same. We must be absolutely shameless!

Enter Vanessa Marquez, a clinician at Fenway Community Health who has worked on several rectal microbicide trials, and uses a number of strategies to rectally disarm her patients and others to great effect. On this IRMA/AVACcall she shared Shameless Plugs and sparked a great conversation. Vanessa talked about some professional development and education resources and opportunties at Fenway. Here is a link for more info.

Click here for Vanessa's slides. Click here for the call recording.


Rectal Microbicide Research Update - MTN 007 and MTN 017
Thursday, March 15, 2012

There are exciting new developments in the rectal microbicide field. This IRMA/AVAC global teleconference features Drs. Ian McGowan and Ross Cranston of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). Ian (co-principal investigator of the MTN) shares results from the MTN 007 trial - just released at CROI 2012. MTN 007 was a Phase I safety and acceptability study of a rectal formulation of tenofovir gel. More info on MTN 007, including a press release, a Q&A and backgrounder, can be found here.

Click here for Ian's slides.

Following Ian, Ross discussed the upcoming MTN 017 trial - a Phase II safety and acceptability trial of the same gel studied in MTN 007 - which will have sites in 4 countries and will start later this year. MTN 017 is the first Phase II trial to be conducted in the rectal microbicide field, and will be the first time that trial sites from outside the U.S. are included. Click here for a backgrounder on the trial.

Click here for Ross's slides.

Click here for a recording of the call.



Teleconferences 2011

Yes, Africa Needs Rectal Microbicides
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Please join IRMA and AVAC with our special guest Dr. Salim Abdool Karim (Slim.)

Slim did a fantastic presentation at the Microbicides 2010 called "Does Africa Need a Rectal Microbicide" and the data he shared revealed the answer to be a resounding "YES!" He provided an exciting update of this information on this call. Click here for Slim's newly-updated slides.

Additionally, IRMA's Jim Pickett discussed Project ARM - Africa for Rectal Microbicides. Click here for Jim's slides.

Click here for an audio recording of this call.


Lube Access - A Global Challenge
Monday, August 29, 2011

IRMA, AVAC and partners from PSI and the Global Forum on MSM and HIV discussed lube access in the global context - highlighting the needs, gaps, and challenges, as well as efforts underway to address them.

Presenter Beth Skorochod (PSI): PSI's work as a distributor of SRHR commodities, specifically lube distribution in developing countries. Click here for her presentation "Social Marketing Lubricant in Developing Countries." Presenter Pato Hebert (MSMGF): Click here for his presentation "MSM and Access to Free Water-based Lubricant Results from a 2010 Global Survey." Presenter Jim Pickett (IRMA): The importance of addressing lube access now to prepare for eventual rectal microbicide access (no slides.)

An audio recording can be accessed here.

CROI Highlights Reel - Rectums, Gel vs. Tablet, Enemas!
Monday, April 25, 2011

IRMA and AVAC held a teleconference to provide an up-close look at important new microbicide data of relevance for prevention advocates. Peter Anton of UCLA and Craig Hendrix of Johns Hopkins University reviewed the findings they presented at the recent 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.

Peter Anton discussed a rectal microbicide safety trial (RMP 02/MTN 006), which showed that the 1% tenofovir gel developed to protect against HIV during vaginal sex (and tested in CAPRISA 004) was readily absorbed by cells in the rectal tissue. As Anton will noted, participants used the product daily for a week and provided rectal tissue biopsies. The concentration of 1% tenofovir gel in those biopsies inhibited HIV replication. This finding moves the field closer to proof of concept that 1% tenofovir gel could help reduce the risk of HIV infection via anal sex. Anton also talked about the finding that the vaginal gel formulation was shown to be sub-optimal for rectal use and has since been re-formulated.

Next up, Craig Hendrix reviewed findings from MTN 001, the first study to make head-to-head comparisons between 1% tenofovir gel and oral tenofovir. The concentration of active drug in vaginal tissue was more than one hundred-fold higher in participants who used 1% tenofovir gel vaginally, compared to those who took a daily tenofovir tablet. Concentrations of active drug in the blood were 20 times higher in participants who took the pill daily, compared to those who used the gel daily. Craig discussed the implications and also reported his team's work on the safety and acceptability of three rectal douches/enemas.

Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call.

Peter Anton's slides: NIH/NIAID: 1st IPCP on Rectal Microbicides Developments (2004-2011)

Craig Hendrix: MTN-001 Phase 2 Adherence and Pharmacokinetic Study of Oral and Vaginal Preparations of Tenofovir

Craig Hendrix: Douche as Microbicide Vehicle: Safety, Pharmacokinetics, Acceptability of 3 Candidates


Lubricant Safety Update: Current Research and Advocacy Efforts
Monday, January 24, 2011

We discussed the latest developments in lubricant safety research and advocacy. As you will recall, lube safety was one of the hottest topics of 2010, and we thought it was important to follow up with you promptly in the new year. Speakers included Charlene Dezzutti of the Microbicide Trials Network, Pamina Gorbach of UCLA, and Jim Pickett, IRMA chair. Charlene discussed her work testing the lubricant in the new FC2 female condom, Pamina talked about the new Project AWARE lube sub-study (part of a 9 U.S. clinic study on STDs), and a brand new rectal douche study to be conducted in partnership with IRMA. Jim covered IRMA efforts to understand global regulatory issues regarding sexual lubricants and his recent visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss lube safety.

Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call.

Click here for Charlene's slides.
Click here for Jim's slides.
Click here for Pamina's slides.

Related materials:
Safety of lubricants for rectal use: A fact sheet for HIV educators and advocates
Safety of lubricants for rectal use: Questions & Answers for HIV educators and advocates


Teleconference Materials - 2010

The Basics of Drug Development Science – Nothing to be scared of!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enhance your advocacy skills and bone up on some of the basics. Jim Turpin of the Microbicide Research Branch at the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained the basic science of drug discovery – the research that happens before we move on to Phase I safety testing in people. Many of us find basic science confusing, daunting, and scary. Jim showed us that it doesn’t have to be any of those things, and is in fact, fascinating! Click here for his presentation slides. Click here for a recording of the call.

CHARMed - An update on the Combination HIV Antiretroviral Rectal Microbicide program
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Join Ian McGowan, Principal Investigator, brought us up to date on the status of CHARM - the Combination HIV Antitretroviral Rectal Microbicide Program - a 5-YEAR, $11 million project funded by the NIH. The purpose of CHARM is to develop rectal-specific anitretroviral microbicides. Candidates include tenofovir, UC781, and a combination of tenofovir and UC781. Learn more in Section 2 of IRMA's report "From Promise to Product: Advancing Rectal Microbicide Research and Advocacy."

Please click here to download Ian's slides. Please click here for a recording of the call.

Lube: Slippery when wet, but is it safe?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Click here for an MP3 recording of the call.

It's been LUBE MANIA post-Microbicides 2010, where we heard a lot of interesting new data about the safety of sexual lubricants. Since, there has been a TON of media. Click here for a sample of the coverage, both good and hyperbolic.

So, what does it all mean?

IRMA and AVAC held this global teleconference to help make sense of it all with the folks who presented these new data - Charlene Dezzutti (University of Pittsburgh), Pamina Gorbach (UCLA) and from the Population Council, Othell Begay and Jose Romero. IRMA's Secretary and Resident Lube Expert, Marc-André LeBlanc discussed advocacy activities. The group tried to answer the following questions:

* What did the new studies released at Microbicides 2010 tell us about lube safety?
* What are the implications of these results for HIV/STI prevention messaging?
* What further research should take place to address unanswered questions?
* What are the key advocacy points we should pursue?
* Why does this matter to rectal microbicide advocates?

Let's Take Sexy Back! Sex Can Feel Good, and Be Safe Too...
Tuesday, May 11 , 2010

While most safer sex and HIV prevention programmes are negative and disease-focused, The Pleasure Project is different: they take a positive, liberating and sexy approach to safer sex. Think of it as sex education ... with the emphasis on 'sex'. Join IRMA and The Pleasure Project's Anne Philpott for a global teleconference to take sexy back in our prevention work. Visit the Pleasure Project here.

Download Anne's slides here. Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call (large file.)

Click here for the Global Mapping of Pleasure report Anne talked about.

Check out another site on pleasure - Sex is Fun.

Find the Joy in Stats
April 15, 2010

Do terms like Statistical Significance and P-values leave you scratching your head? Do you wonder what an Odds Ratio is, and what it means when it is Adjusted? How about Confidence Intervals?

Walt Senterfitt was our guide through this maze. He runs the IRB for the LA County Department of Public Health, overseeing research ethics, mentoring young researchers and trying to shift more of public health work toward social determinants and structural interventions. Currently, he is the Board co-chair and resident "gray beard" of CHAMP (the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project).

Click here for Walt's PowerPoint slides. Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call (large file - give yourself a few minutes, it's definitely worth the wait!)

Please check out this great resource from AVAC - Advocates’ Guide to Statistical Terms.

The anal canal: an important transition zone for rectal microbicide development
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dr. Ross Cranston will discuss the normal anal canal, anal pathology, receptive anal intercourse and anal pathology, the anal canal in the context of HIV, and the potential importance of the anal canal in the context of microbicide development. Click here for Ross's slides. Click here for an MP3 recording of the call.

Epidemiology of HIV Among MSM in Africa: Implications for rectal microbicides
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IRMA's first call of 2010. Chris Beyrer MD, MPH, Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, presented on the sobering HIV data among MSM in Africa and discussed serious challenges such as the lack of access to water-based lubricants. Click here for his slides. Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call. Click here for the open access article on PLoS ONE "HIV Prevalence, Risks for HIV Infection, and Human Rights among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana" of which Chris was a co-author.


Teleconference Materials - 2009

Efficacy and Effectiveness - What is Good Enough? Who decides?
Friday, December 4, 2009

IRMA, the Global Campaign for Microbicides and the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition and our panel of distinguished speakers (below) had a discussion about efficacy and effectiveness of new prevention technologies – PrEP, male circumcision, vaccines, and microbicides. We tried to address some of the following questions: What is acceptable to communities in both the developing and developed world? What about behaviour change? How do we balance public health impact vs. the needs of the individual? We didn't answer all of these – but we did start the discussion. Please stay tuned for a Part 2 with a policy maker, a regulator, and a funder.

Featured speakers* included Gus Cairns, Editor, HIV Treatment Update NAM Publications (Aidsmap); Dr Sheila Harvey MDP301 Trial Coordinator, Mwanza, Tanzania; and Dr. Roger Tatoud, Senior Programme Manager, International HIV Clinical Trial Research Management Office, Imperial College London. Representatives from AVAC and GCM also madecomments.

*Click presenters name for their slides. Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call. Click here for the MDP 301: PRO 2000 Advocates’ Brief developed by the Global Campaign for Microbicides.

Special thanks to AVAC for hosting the call!


Implications of anal intercourse and rectal use of products in vaginal microbicide trials
Friday, October 16 , 2009

Overview: What types of data are being collected on AI and rectal use of products among trial participants, and why is it important to collect? (Dr. Ian McGowan, University of Pittsburgh, Microbicide Trials Network) Click here for Ian's slides - Implications of Anal Intercourse and Rectal use of Products in Vaginal Microbicide Trials.Click here for an MP3 audio recording of Ian's segment.

Case study: What data have been collected in the HPTN035 trial testing PRO 2000? What we expect the data could tell us about the trial results, rectal use of PRO 2000 and AI in the study populations? (Dr. Pamina Gorbach, UCLA). Click here for Pamina's slides - Measuring Anal Intercourse in Microbicide Studies. See related poster - Temporal Relationship of Oral Sex Acts to Receptive Anal Intercourse: Implications for Rectal Microbicide Use. Click here for an MP3 audio recording of Pamina's segment.

Next steps: What we should be going as a field to strengthen trials, validate results, and get desperately needed data? (Ian and Pamina). Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the Q&A portion of the call.

Special thanks to AVAC for hosting the call!


Microbicides: The herstory of a movement
Thursday, June 11, 2009
If you ever wanted to know how the microbicides movement got started from two of the women who were there from the beginning, this is the teleconference for you.

Brought to you by IRMA and the Global Campaign for Microbicides, the discussion covered the story before the headlines and the context of this incredible movement that we're all a part of today. Because if you don't know the past, it's hard to understand the present, let alone advocate for the future! Click here for an MP3 audio recording of the call.

Lori Heise, founding Director of the Global Campaign for Microbicides (left), speaks about her experience over the past 15 years advocating for microbicides, early watershed moments and the field that's emerged worldwide. Anna Forbes, Deputy Directory of the Global Campaign for Microbicides, presents on the role of civil society in Europe and North America over the past decade to build awareness and help raise millions to dramatically increase funding for microbicide research. She also discusses early efforts to get gay men and MSM involved in rectal microbicide advocacy that helped plant the seeds for what is IRMA today.


Understanding the habits and preferences of people having anal sex: Implications for rectal microbicide development
Thursday, May 14, 2009
How often do people use saliva for anal sex? What about vaginal fluid? Would people prefer a rectal microbicide that comes in a gel or a suppository? What do the answers to these questions mean for rectal microbicide development?

Dr. Alex Carballo-Dieguez (Columbia University and IRMA Steering Committee Member, presented his study (click here for the MP3 audio recording) on whether users prefer a rectal microbicide that comes in a gel or a suppository. Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. Lisa Butler (University of California, San Francisco) presented their study (click here for the MP3 audio recording) on the use of saliva during anal sex among MSM. IRMA's Marc-André LeBlanc gave an overview (click here for the MP3 audio recording)of the findings from IRMA's global web survey on the use of lubricants, saliva and vaginal fluid during anal sex.

Special thanks to AVAC for hosting the call!


IRMA Exclusive: A Preview of New Rectal Microbicide Safety Studies
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Featuring presentations by Medical Research Council’s Dr. Sheena McCormack (UK ), UCLA’s Dr. Peter Anton and Dr. Ian McGowan, University of Pittsburgh. Be among the first to know about upcoming rectal microbicide trials - including rectal safety studies of tenofovir and Pro2000 - from the scientists leading the efforts. Click each presenter's name to access their slides in PDF format.

This teleconference was recorded, and is available in three sections in MP3 format (files are rather large.) Click on the presenter's name to hear their portion of the call. In order, Dr. Ian McGowan, Dr. Sheena McCormack, Dr. Peter Anton. Thanks to IRMA member Bill O'Brien for helping us provide these recordings. Tip: listen to the recordings and follow along with the appropriate slides.

Special thanks to AVAC for hosting the call!

The Female Condom - where the girls – AND boys – are
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Get the skinny on the NEW female condom and discuss its implications for anal sex.
Featuring presentations by Serra Sippel, CHANGE Executive Director and Mitchell Warren, AVAC Executive Director. Click here for Serra's "FC2 Female Condom Update" slides, in PDF format. Click here for Mitchell's slides. And click here for a handy resource on anal sex and female condoms.

Special thanks to AVAC for hosting the call!