PrEP That Booty: The latest on rectal microbicide research for the back door

Thursday, June 29 at 9:00 AM–10:30AM ET

Most of what we hear about regarding the HIV prevention pipeline is about long-acting, longer-acting, and even longer-acting products that deliver drug throughout the body and require a trained clinician to deliver. However, these attributes are not desirable to many folks, and communities want a range of choices. Researchers and advocates for years have been working on HIV prevention products specifically for the back door (rectum) to provide protection during anal intercourse. These products are user-controlled, non-systemic (the drug stays in the booty and only the booty), and are short-acting, so you don’t have to commit to having a prevention drug in your body for a year or longer. Join us for a dynamic discussion regarding the latest research on Booty PrEP – aka rectal microbicides – with our multi-talented panel.

Speakers include: Jonathan Baker, PA, Laser Surgery Care, Dr. Craig Hendrix, Johns Hopkins, Juan Michael Porter II, The Body, and Dr. Sharon Riddler, University of Pittsburgh

Recording / Slides / Resources

Years Ahead in HIV Prevention Research: Time to Market

This new timeline shows the potential time points when the next-generation of HIV prevention options might find their way into new programs.

Avac Event

Understanding the EMA Opinion: Next Steps for Dapivirine Vaginal Ring

On July 29, AVAC held a webinar Understanding the EMA Opinion: Next Steps for Dapivirine Vaginal Ring for advocates to learn about next steps on the regulatory process and implications for rollout from advocates, International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) and the WHO. We were joined by Zeda Rosenberg, CEO of IPM, Rachel Baggaley from the WHO, Cleopatra Makura, 2019 AVAC Fellow, and Ruth Nahurira, a trial participant.

Recording and Slides: YouTube / Zeda Rosenberg’s Slides

Avac Event

Butt Stuff – All Gender HIV Prevention for Backdoor Action

On August 11, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and AVAC held a webinar to talk about the latest on rectal microbicides – where we are with research and development for HIV prevention options that focus on the butt/rectum where HIV infection often occurs? Community advocate Craig Washington read from his piece, “Giving And Getting Some: Reflecting On The Penetration Of My Manhood And My Ass” and DJ Taylor Waits spun the sounds of booty shaking liberation.

Science speakers:

  • Dr. Jose A. Bauermeister, Philadelphia
  • Dr. Craig Hendrix, Baltimore
  • Dr. Ken Ho, Pittsburgh


  • Spoken word – Craig Washington, Atlanta
  • DJ – Taylor Waits, Pittsburgh

Find the recording and transcript here. Use passcode: $v62dCvi for access. Slides can be found here. And don’t forget to check out the Butt Stuff playlist from DJ Taylor Watts.

Avac Event

Swish or Insert Then Flirt: An update on rectal microbicides

On Thursday, September 17, IRMA and AVAC hosted this global teleconference which discussed rectal microbicide studies underway and being planned that incorporate common anal sex practices, focusing on the development of gels, douches, fast-dissolving rectal tablets (inserts) and suppositories – options that recognize the complexity of sex, human nature, pleasure and HIV.

Presenters included Jose Bauermeister (University of Pennsylvania), Kenneth Ho (University of Pittsburgh) and Craig Hendrix (Johns Hopkins). IRMA’s Jim Picket will moderated the call.

Recording: YouTube / Audio / Jose Bauermeister’s Slides / Kenneth Ho’s Slides / Craig Hendrix’s Slides

Avac Event

Whose Choice is it Anyway?

On Monday, October 1st, IRMA and AVAC led a lively discussion on the BRAND NEW IRMA report titled: Whose Choice is it Anyway? Analysis of Comments to and Responses from NIH’s 2017 “Refining the Research Enterprise” Request for Input on Research Priorities. (How’s that for the longest report title in the world?)

Click here to read the new report Whose Choice is it Anyway?

As everyone in the field is aware, the NIH conducted an input process last year that concluded with a release of new HIV prevention research priorities that favor long acting, systemic formulations (like vaccines, implants and injectables) and negate the need for short acting, user-controlled, non-systemic approaches (like vaginal and rectal microbicides).

IRMA was curious about the input that was collected—did most scientists, advocates, and other stakeholders indeed prioritize long acting, systemic formulations, showing little to no interest in other approaches like microbicides?

We asked NIH to see the input that came in, and what their responses were – and they declined to provide that information. So IRMA’s home organization, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, filed a Freedom of Information Act request. And we received over 300 pages of input to NIH, as well as responses to the input from NIH leadership.

IRMA’s Marc-André LeBlanc and Jim Pickett shared the key findings from the analysis of those 300+ pages as presented in the report. They will outlined next steps we can take collectively to help claim and ensure space in the research agenda for HIV prevention options that advocates and researchers want —options that can be used on demand, when, where and how individuals desire.

Special guests from the advocacy community, Irene Hware, Sinazo Peter and Ntando Yola, were invited to make remarks.

Recording: YouTube / Audio / Slides

Avac Event

Webinar: Are we there yet? The long and winding rectal road…

IRMA’s Marc-Andre LeBlanc and Craig Hendrix of Johns Hopkins and the Microbicide Trials Network provide a rollicking rectal recap. From the rectal dawn of research and advocacy til today, scientists and advocates have worked together tirelessly (and fiercely) to advance safe, effective, acceptable and accessible rectal microbicides for the men, women, and transgender individuals who want and need them.

With threats to the microbicide field at large coming from multiple angles, this webinar takes stock of where we have been and where we are now in terms of rectal microbicide research and advocacy to help us chart our collective course forward. We seek to ensure adequate, sustainted resources for the development of user-desired, user-initiated, short-term, non-systemic, pleasure-enancing HIV prevention options – including rectal microbicides.

Recording: Youtube / Audio / Slides

Avac Event

Webinar: CROI 2018: Latest on the dapivirine vaginal ring

On March 29, Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), and Dr. Jared Baeten, Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), presented on and discussed the latest data on the dapivirine vaginal ring for HIV prevention. Initial data from the HOPE and DREAM open-label extension ring trials were presented at CROI 2018 and showed that the use of the ring cut HIV risk by 50 percent. Learn more about what these initial data show us, what additional data are expected and plans for the ring in the coming year. And, as always, what can advocates do to advance the agenda?

Recording: YouTube / Audio / DREAM Slides / HOPE Slides

Avac Event

Webinar: We’re On Our Way: Moving forward on the rectal road – new drugs, formulations and modes of delivery

This IRMA/AVAC teleconference featured Dr. Jose Bauermeister (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Craig Hendrix (Johns Hopkins) and Dr. Kenneth Palmer (University of Louisville) who presented their promising new rectal microbicide research that is underway — we have new molecules, new formulations, new platforms for delivery and new acceptability explorations. Very exciting stuff!

On August 7, we glanced back at where we have been on this long and winding rectal road. On August 21, we looked to where we are going – where we need to go. It is this momentum we want to sustain. And it is the promise of a safe, effective, acceptable/desirable and accessible rectal microbicide for which we must fight — the future is not promised.

Recording: YouTube / Audio / Slides

Avac Event

Webinar: The Dapivirine Ring – What’s the story?

A joint STRIVE and AVAC webinar.

For the first time, two large-scale studies have confirmed modest efficacy for a microbicide to prevent HIV. The vaginal ring is made of a flexible silicone material infused with dapivirine, a potent ARV that works by preventing the virus from making copies of itself. The ring enables the drug to be released slowly over time, directly to the site of potential infection, with low absorption elsewhere and is designed to be worn for up to three months at a time.

In this webinar, we discussed:

  • Why were the ring results greeted with disappointment by some and joy by others?
  • What plans are there to introduce the ring into prevention programs and how will it sit within the roll-out of PrEP?
  • What role can/should such biomedical tools play within the overall response to HIV?


Rebekah Webb is an HIV prevention research advocate based in the UK. She has been a campaigner for new prevention options for women since 2002 and was the European Coordinator for the Global Campaign for Microbicides until she began freelancing. Rebekah now works regularly with AVAC, the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) and STOPAIDS to advance political commitment to HIV prevention efforts in Europe.

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