San Francisco, California
“It took us more than 30 years to realize that there is not one unique strategy to prevent HIV acquisition, and that combination prevention is key, and rectal microbicides must be part of the prevention toolbox.”
Originally from Lima, Peru, Pedro is in charge of communications and community relations for the iPrEx OLE study, the open-label continuation of the iPrEx trial. iPrEx is the study that showed daily oral use of the ARV drug Truvada among gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women worked to prevent HIV.
He enjoys his work because of the invaluable opportunities it provides for him to meet interesting people who are working really hard on finding ways to stop this epidemic. He takes pride in the sensitivity his team shows to community members and for highlighting their needs with scientists and stakeholders. Besides iPrEx OLE, Pedro also just finished a couple of other projects related to the feasibility of voluntary circumcision for HIV prevention in gay men and other MSM, and neonatal male circumcision for HIV prevention, in the jungles of Peru.
In his spare time Pedro loves to ride his bike. He enjoys “having destinations that I reach through the effort of pedaling.” Pedro’s biggest life influence was his mother, but he is also blessed to be surrounded by excellent people that have been an inspiration. In addition, he has lost several friends to HIV and this motivated him to do something about it.
He was introduced to rectal microbicides and IRMA when he met IRMA chair Jim Pickett through IRMA steering committee member and IRMA-ALC co-founder Jerome Galea. He believes that any strategy to help end the epidemic is useful and thinks that rectal microbicides are an important prevention technology because anal sex is the primary mode of HIV transmission among gay men and other MSM, and that women practice anal sex more than is reported or fully understood.
Pedro has played an important role on the soon-to-be-released IRMA video (“The Rectal Revolution is Here: An Introduction to Rectal Microbicide Clinical Trials”) being developed in partnership with the Microbicide Trials Network and Population Council. He is part of the team’s Video Advisory Committee and has provided invaluable feedback on content and messaging. He also worked closely on the focus groups (especially those conducted in Lima, Peru) which were designed and implemented to test the “rough cut” of the video with different populations to help ensure the proper messages are coming through. He says it has been a very inspirational expereince and he is really looking forward to see the final release. IRMA plans to release the final version of the video in early September, 2012.
Thanks Pedro, for all that you do!
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