Africa needs more microbicides research
SPEAKERS at an international conference on microbicides held in Sydney last week called for a change in the current “denial” about the prevalence of anal sex in Africa.
Africa must engage in rectal microbicidal research and integrate messages about safe anal sex into its HIV prevention programs, according to an African-led group, International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA).
To date the focus of HIV prevention had been on heterosexual vaginal intercourse, but advocates and scientists were “lifting the denial” about anal sex among heterosexuals and men who have sex with men, IRMA chair Jim Pickett said in a media statement.
The world’s first phase II rectal microbicide trial was due to start this year in South Africa, Peru, Thailand and the United States, the IRMA said in releasing a report on its advocacy work.