Check out this interesting min-bio of Ariel Watriss, the latest in IRMA’s “Meet a Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate” series on the IRMA website here.  Ariel is one of six new bios just posted a few days ago, including individuals from Kenya, Thailand, the UK, India and Argentina.  Each will be featured on the blog, and you can read all of them here right now.


Ariel Watriss
Boston, Massachusetts, United States

“Rectal mircrobicides will help allow people take ownership of their sexual health and in the process empower them.”

Ariel is a nurse practitioner certified in both adult primary care and women’s health, and currently works at the biomedical research team at the Fenway Institute at Fenway Community Health Center. Sexual health is Ariel’s professional passion, and she loves discussing awareness, ownership, and knowledge of her clients’ sexual selves. Outside of working, Ariel enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and family, and cycling.

Ariel first became aware of IRMA through her current position at Fenway. She worked on multiple biomedical study teams and Microbicide Trials Network studies, where she was first introduced to the amazing world of microbicides. She works on HIV prevention studies looking at HIV vaccines (HVTN 505), PrEP (iPrEx OLE, and the upcoming HPTN 069) and a vaginal ring study looking at vaginal microbicide use (MTN 013/IPM 026).

Ariel believes microbicides are important among new HIV prevention technologies because they are applicable to real world users. “Offering a prevention measure in a product that is already used, such as lubricant, is so awesome. As a prevention tool, they are accessible and engage people in a direct, yet nonthreatening way.”

Ariel’s advice for IRMA is to continue to advocate and educate. All of IRMA’s work is so important to help HIV prevention measures evolve and grow.

Inspiration and influence for Ariel comes from the people (patients, participants, etc.) who she has had a moment of connection and learning with around their sexual health. Ariel learns from teaching all the time, and continues to be inspired by others’ learning.

Ariel is also one of the study clinicians in the upcoming MTN 017 trial (the world’s first Phase II rectal microbicide trial), and will be working directly with participants in the study.

Thanks Ariel for all that you do!

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