Lori Heise

Global Campaign for Microbicides

Lori Heise is Director of the Global Campaign for Microbicides, a coalition of over 200 organizations worldwide that mobilize support among policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public for increased investment in to microbicides and other user-controlled methods of HIV protection. Through advocacy, policy analysis, and social science research, the Campaign works to accelerate product development, facilitate widespread access and use, and protect the needs and interests of users, especially women. 

For the past 16 years, Ms. Heise has worked to make women's empowerment an explicit part of the global HIV prevention strategy. She has published widely on the topics of sexuality, gender, and power and has served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization on violence against women and HIV/AIDS. 

In 2000, she became the first-ever recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Advocacy from ASHA (American Social Health Association) and in 2004 she was recognized by Ms Magazine as one of their "50 Women Who Made a Difference."  She is also co-principal investigator on the WHO Multi-country Study on Domestic Violence and Women's Health. 

A Realistic Look at Microbicides

Lori Heise is Director of the Global Campaign for Microbicides.

Talk of microbicides was the pulse of the 2006 International AIDS conference in Toronto, Canada. Microbicides moved from the sidelines to center stage, a paradigm shift of bold proportions. All who have worked hard to articulate the need for user-controlled prevention should feel proud and savor this moment. Congratulations!

Reaching this tipping point also means that we now need to adjust our messages. For the past fifteen years, the microbicide movement has focused on building the enthusiasm and momentum necessary to gain the attention, respect, and commitment of world leaders. If we are concerned about the long term success of our enterprise, however, we must help individuals develop realistic expectations regarding this new technology. As advocates with advanced knowledge and training in the field, we have a critical role to play in shaping future discourse.