“You should try being an IRMA advocate; you will love the energy and drive you get from it. If you can say rectal microbicides to over 100 people, you can sell anything to anyone on this earth!”

George is an IRMA advocate from Nairobi, Kenya. There he is the Project Coordinator and Health Educator at Ishtar MSM – a community based organization whose mission is to attain full sexual health rights and social well being for MSM in Kenya. He is also a Board Member at GALCK – the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. His passions are to advocate for and research issues surrounding access to stigma and discrimination free healthcare for the LGBTI community, environmental conservation, and human rights in general. He also loves to watch horse racing!

He first became familiar with IRMA when a colleague sent him the application to apply for a scholarship to the Project ARM – Africa for Rectal Microbicides meeting in Addis Ababa this past December, in conjunction with ICASA. He was one of 16 people chosen and was surprised to see how vibrant the rectal microbicide movement in Africa had become! He had heard of rectal microbicides and IRMA before, but said he was not aware that such support existed for them in Africa.

George believes rectal microbicides are important to include in a comprehensive approach to combating HIV. He frequently hears stories of condoms bursting and allergies to latex in his work, and he thinks rectal microbicides would be able to help a lot in these situations. “A rectal microbicide would give human beings the power to have safer sex, protect themselves and their partners from infection, and reduce new infection and re-infection,” he said.

He talks about rectal microbicides any time he has the opportunity. He believes that we all have to integrate them into open forum discussion more to help lessen the stigma that surrounds them. The best way to deal with stigma is to face it head on.

Thanks George for all that you do!

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article’s content, whether in support or in opposition.]