Check out this interesting mini-bio of Carol Odada, the latest in IRMA’s “Meet a Friendly Rectal Microbicide Advocate” series on the IRMA website here.  Carol is one of six new bios just posted yesterday, including individuals from Thailand, Kenya and the US.  Each will be featured on the blog, and you can read all of them here right now.

Carol Odada
Nairobi, Kenya

“I stand out strongly as a women’s rights champion, and am quite steadfast on the human need for rectal microbicides.”

Carol received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Eastern Africa. Since graduating, she has focused on social work, and has helped to develop and implement care and support programs for people living with HIV. She currently works in biomedical HIV prevention research advocacy, and enjoys advocating for women’s rights and sexual health rights.

Carol became involved with IRMA when the topic of rectal microbicides was still a relatively new in Kenya. In December of 2011, Carol was one of a number of African leaders who joined IRMA for a two-day strategy meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that took place in advance of the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa. The meeting officially launched IRMA’s Project ARM – Africa for Rectal Microbicides initiative. IRMA recently released a report from that meeting called “On The Map: Ensuring Africa’s Place in Rectal Microbicide Research and Advocacy” recommending a set of priority actions for IRMA and allies to better engage Africans across the continent in rectal microbicide activities. Carol played a very important role in helping define those strategies. Learn more about Project ARM, and read the report, here.

She understands that different prevention strategies need to be developed to provide sexual health to the world’s population and that rectal microbicides will provide a new tool for women and men regardless of sexual orientation. Specifically, she educates women, young and old, about anal sex.

Currently, Carol is working on a collaboration between AVAC and ATHENA Network called WHiPT – Women’s HIV Prevention Tracking Project.

She will soon be a featured speaker in the satellite session “Rectal Microbicides: Making HIV Prevention Gel” at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC with other members of IRMA and allies. The session is taking place in the afternoon on Sunday, July 22, 2012 – more info on this event can be found here.

Carol encourages IRMA to keep pushing forward, and believes that a day will come when all of the group’s collective work and efforts are fully appreciated.

HIV has taught her to value every person and every opinion. And her five-year-old daughter gives her a reason to wake up and work hard every day. Because of her daughter’s influence, she strives to be a better person and tries to give back to the community as much as she can.

Thank you, Carol, for all that you do!

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