September 15, 2016
AVAC is pleased to join a number of partners to announce the call for nominations for the 2016 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy. This update includes information on the award, a link to the nomination form due September 28, 2016 and information about the upcoming HIV Research for Prevention (R4P) Conference where the selected advocates will be honored.
On October 5, 2016, it will be ten years since Nigerian HIV prevention advocate Omololu Falobi was tragically killed. Those who knew Omololu will remember him—among many other things—as a talented journalist, an activist for social justice, an advocate for prevention research and a son of Africa who worked tirelessly to ensure Africans were taking ownership of their own HIV care and prevention. Omololu founded the Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), co-created the Nigeria-AIDS eForum, co-founded the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS), was an instrumental pioneer member of the Treatment Access Movement (TAM) Nigeria and a key leader of the African Civil Society Coalition on HIV and AIDS.
In 2008, in honor of Omololu’s memory and commitment to the field, the Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy was established by the African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) and partners. The Award has since been given to a community advocate in recognition of his/her contribution to the HIV prevention research field through community advocacy. Individuals are nominated by their peers, and the winner is announced at a biennial international HIV prevention research conference. Lori Heise (USA) and Aylur Srikrishnan (India) were the 2008 recipients, Charles Shagi (Tanzania) the 2010 recipient, Anna Forbes (USA), the 2012 recipient and Taiwo Oladayo Oyelakin (Nigeria), the 2014 recipient.
When Omololu left us in 2006, we had few people who called themselves prevention research advocates and there was a real need to celebrate the unseen work of community advocates. We also had no proof of concept of vaccines, microbicides or PrEP working. Today it’s time to celebrate the success of the last decade and to acknowledge the different kinds of advocates – activists, researchers, community educators, trial participants, policy-makers – who have contributed to it in one way or another. This is fitting of Omololu’s legacy because he was devoted to building movements.
The 2016 partners coordinating the Award are pleased to call for nominations for the 2016 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy. Given the growing movement, we want to profile the community of advocates who help shape this field.