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Whose Choice is it Anyway?

October 1, 2018

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