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The Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy

“All of us have to choose to respond to the challenges of our own times. For me the challenge is HIV/AIDS” – Omololu Falobi

Anna Forbes is the 2012 Omolulu Falobi Award Winner

Anna Forbes was announced as the 2012 recipient of the Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 International Microbicides Conference in Sydney. The Award was presented to Ms Forbes by 2010 recipient, Charles Shagi.

An advocate, organizer, and writer, Anna Forbes has worked in HIV/AIDS since 1985 and on women's health and rights since 1977. Now an independent consultant with an international client base, her work centers around women, HIV, gender, health, and rights.

“I am honored to receive this award from my peers… There have been times over the past several years when finding a safe and effective microbicide and other woman-controlled options for HIV prevention seemed like a distant dream, but today we are much closer to making it a reality. As Omololu said, the challenge of our time is HIV/AIDS. Receiving this award in his name gives me renewed hope to meet that challenge,” Forbes said.



The Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy was established to honour the life and work of Omololu Falobi and highlight the essential role of community advocacy in HIV prevention research. It is intended to honour individuals who have shown leadership and commitment to HIV prevention research advocacy and inspired others to action. It is presented biannually to coincide with the international Microbicides conference which increasingly highlights the importance of partnership and advocacy. The award includes a plaque, a cash prize and a scholarship to attend the conference.

Award Coordinating Committee: African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) in partnership with The African AIDS Vaccine Partnership (AAVP), AVAC, Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA), Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria (JAAIDS), New HIV Vaccine and Microbicides Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) and Treatment Access Movement (TAM) Nigeria.

Financial support for the Award from AMAG, AVAC, GCM, Family Health International and NHVMAS, Open Society Institute in South Africa and UNAIDS.



AVAC congratulates the 2010 winner, Charles Shagi, African Medical and Research Foundation

The 2010 winner was announced at the closing ceremony of the 2010 International Microbicide Conference.

Charles Shagi, Program Officer for AMREF based in Mwanza, Tanzania, was honored for his significant contributions to developing and sustaining community engagement and education programs that empower women and their communities to advocate for themselves and to become vital partners in HIV prevention research trials.

Download the Omolulu Falobi press release here.

Read an interview with Charles Shagi.




Lori Heise, Inaugural Recipient of the Omololu Falobi Award Discusses Its Importance

I have to say that receiving the Omololu Falobi award was one of the high points of my career, both because it came from my peers and because I was honored to stand in the shadow of Omololu, who was such a great and inspiring advocate and journalist.

I began working to expand women and men's options for HIV prevention back in 1991 and I remember the days when people didn't take us seriously. The irony was that the very community of folks who you would have thought would have joined the effort—those working in HIV—were the least receptive to the message that current strategies were inadequate, especially for women. At the time our allies were women's health advocates and those working on women's sexual and reproductive health; early research was undertaken by those developing contraceptives, not virologists or visionaries in the HIV community.

Read more.


Background: The Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy

The Omololu Falobi Award highlights the essential role of community advocacy and leadership in HIV prevention research. It celebrates the life and values of the late Omololu Falobi, a visionary leader who continues to inspire many people and projects. He was a leading HIV/AIDS activist, an advocate for prevention research, and an exceptional journalist. Omololu made enormous impact in Nigeria and beyond – he nurtured and/or led campaigns related to prevention, treatment and research; won multiple awards nationally and internationally; and earned a tremendous reputation from all who had the privilege to work with him. He established the Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), co-created the Nigeria AIDS eForum, co-founded the Nigerian HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Group (NHVMAG), 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.

The award was conceptualized and the process coordinated by the African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) in partnership with AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention Research, the Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS), and the Treatment Action Movement Nigeria (TAM).

The 2010 Award Winner
The 2010 Award winner was announced at the closing ceremony of the 2010 International Microbicide Conference. The 2010 award was given to Charles Shagi, a Program Officer for AMREF based in Mwanza, Tanzania. Shagi was honored for his significant contributions to developing and sustaining community engagement and education programs that empower women and their communities to advocate for themselves and to become vital partners in HIV prevention research trials. He was chosen from among an impressive group of almost 20 nominees by an independent international panel of HIV prevention research advocates, policy makers, and scientists. The selection committee noted his instrumental role in pioneering new ways to bring the voices of community members and participants into the research process. Shagi and his colleagues have also documented and published peer reviewed articles about their model for community representation and participation in HIV prevention trials among women. This research is an important guide for those working on community engagement plans for HIV prevention trials around the world.

Inaugural Award Winners
The inaugural Omololu Falobi Award was given to Lori Heise and Srikrishnan Aylur (Krish) in 2008 at the International Microbicide 2008 Conference in New Delhi, India.

Lori is currently an independent consultant and was the Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Microbicides. She has served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization, the World Bank, and the US National Institutes of Health. She has published widely in academic journals, including the British Medical Journal, Social Science and Medicine; AIDS; Studies in Family Planning, and the Lancet.

Krish is a research manager at the Y.R. Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education in Chennai, India.

Award Planning Committee:
African AIDS Vaccine Partnership (AAVP)
African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG)
Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC)
Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM)
International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA)
Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria (JAAIDS)
New HIV Vaccine and Microbicides Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) and
Treatment Access Movement (TAM) Nigeria

AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention
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