April 30, 2012
AVAC partners were a dynamic presence at the Microbicides 2012 (M2012) Conference in Sydney, Australia (April 15-18, 2012). HIV prevention advocate Milly Katana—a frequent collaborator and advisor on our 2010 Advocacy Fellowship and WHiPT programs—gave a plenary address, “Making Access a Reality for All Those in Need”. Bonnie Saxon Medeossi of the Witwatersrand Reproductive Health Institute (WRHI) presented “Putting the GPP guidelines to work: Achievements and challenges for the FACTS Consortium.” Through a partnership with AVAC, Bonnie and colleagues at Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) have been implementing the Good Participatory Practice (GPP) guidelines as a core part of the FACTS 001 trial of 1% tenofovir gel. This presentation, along with her overview in a GPP symposium led by WRHI and AVAC, resulted in networking and sharing of GPP tools amongst conference attendees. Fellow Alliance Nikuze chaired a session, “Criminalization and its intersection with HIV risk behavior” which also included presentations from 2011 Fellows Brian Kanyemba and Simon K’Ondiek. These presentations just scratch the surface of a busy week which also included the launch of Project ARM report on the African Rectal Microbicides movement in Africa (a project led by IRMA, with AVAC collaboration), presentation of the Omololu Falobi Award to long-time advocate Anna Forbes, media skills-building sessions by the Microbicides Media and Communications Initiative (MMCI), and a vibrant Advocacy Corner in the exhibition all that was brought to life by partners—including past, current (and maybe even future) Fellows—from around the world.