While interviewing a range of experts involved with research, development and advocacy of new HIV prevention tools at the recently concluded XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), I was reminded of a transgender woman who had said to me in an interview four years back that: “There is no doubt that we need more HIV prevention options – current options don’t work especially for people like us… and this is the only possible reason to motivate me to advocate for new prevention options.”
This community expert further added: “…’perfect’ technologies that disregard social realities don’t necessarily deliver results…” The need to engage affected communities as research moves ahead, and engage them with dignity as equal partners is the key to ensure that finally we develop products that are efficient and also when they become available, are actually used by populations in need.
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