Richard Hasunira

Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS-Uganda) - 2010 Fellow - 2010

Richard wears many hats: he is an economist, policy analyst, journalist, a passionate HIV/AIDS advocate, and before the Fellowship he was Communication Manager at HEPS-Uganda, a health rights advocacy civil society organization. At the time of his Fellowship project, he had been team leader of policy advocacy research studies for the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) and the Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET). Richard’s advocacy work for HIV prevention research started in 2007, when he was part of a media and advocacy mapping study for new prevention research in Uganda. He is keen on biomedical research into microbicides because of the hope they offer to women, who remain vulnerable to and are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

Fellowship Focus
Richard analyzed the community engagement mechanisms of the MDP 301 and MTN 003 (VOICE) studies as case studies in documenting community experiences, perceptions and lessons learned in order to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of the closure of HIV prevention clinical trials on communities, to identify best practices that should be emulated in future trials and to highlight areas that need improvement and advocacy. Richard also contributed to a better understanding and appreciation of biomedical HIV prevention research and advocacy within trial communities and the broader community of civil society at the national level in Uganda.

In Their Own Words
Have we not been over-excited by the possibility of an ARV-based prevention option, so much so that we seem to have “put all our eggs in one basket”? Doesn’t an AIDS vaccine–even a modestly effective one–still have a place in the HIV prevention puzzle?

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