North Devon, United Kingdom
“Even if we had a vaccine, or a microbicide, or if treatment was universal, I think there would still be a large group of people that would find a rectal microbicide incredibly useful and protective in their circumstances.”
Rebekah is an advocate, fundraiser, and a policy researcher on HIV and reproductive health issues. She is currently working closely with AVAC to launch a new project building the capacity of European advocacy for new prevention options called PxROAR (Prevention Options, Outreach, Advocacy and Representation) Europe. PxROAR Europe had their orientation meeting in London in June 2012vand she is very excited about the work that advocates will be doing over the coming year to raise awareness and commitment to European funding and implementation of new HIV Strategies.
Rebekah’s considers herself lucky to have worked with some incredible advocates including her mentors Lori Heise and Anna Forbes. However, her biggest influence came from her close friend Greg’s personal experience of being diagnosed with HIV in 1996. She remembers helping him put all of his 60 or so pills into a huge pill box according to the right time and day. This inspired her want to work for improved HIV treatment and prevention.
She first got involved with IRMA while she was working at the Global Campaign for Microbicides when IRMA was founded (2005.) She has seen it grow from a handful of people to a massive global phenomenon. She considers rectal microbicides important among new HIV prevention technologies because everyone needs more options to protect themselves against HIV and other STIs. Not everyone can use or negotiate condoms. People like using lubricants and she believes that it would be amazing if they protected you at the same time, similar to the way we use hand gel now.
Rebekah says that IRMA is great at what it does and the listserv is a fantastic resource for anyone working in HIV, as it covers a lot more than just rectal microbicides. She praises the fact that it’s a great place where the community can come to debate, challenge, and learn from one another. (Click here if you are interested in joining IRMA’s listserv.)
Thanks Rebekah for all that you do!
*Join IRMA’s robust, highly-active. moderated, global listserv addressing rectal microbicide research and advocacy as well as other interesting new HIV prevention technologies by contacting us at email@example.com. Joining our listserv automatically makes you a member of IRMA – a network of more than 1,100 advocates, scientists, policy makers and funders from all over the world.
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