The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA)

Index of articles from International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA)

International Rectal Microbicide Advocates logo

The Global Force in Rectal Microbicide Advocacy

Since its creation in 2005, International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA) has seen significant growth and success. Convened by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Canadian AIDS Society, the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project and the Global Campaign for Microbicides, IRMA is currently a network numbering over 600 advocates, policymakers and leading scientists from 50 countries on six continents (indicated by the countries in color above) working to advance a robust rectal microbicide research and development agenda.

New Name, New Look, Same Goals

Originally founded as the International Rectal Microbicides Working Group (IRMWG), the group re-branded its name at the end of 2007, created a new logo, and launched this website in January 2008. Amidst all this change, IRMA remains committed to the same goals we developed from our inception:

  • To advocate for accelerated research, development and access to safe, effective and acceptable rectal microbicides

  • To promote rectal safety studies on all viable vaginal microbicide candidates

  • To support, where appropriate, the research of other new prevention technologies, such as male circumcision, vaccines and oral prevention (PrEP), and to promote existing prevention methods such as male and female condoms as part of a range of prevention options

  • To serve as a central forum for exchange, debate, and networking on rectal microbicides; and

  • To convene diverse perspectives and scientific disciplines to improve understanding and action around rectal microbicide research and development.

What Is a Rectal Microbicide?

Currently in development, a microbicide is a cream or gel, or maybe a douche or an enema, that could be used to reduce a person’s risk of HIV infection vaginally or rectally. Rectal microbicides could offer both primary protection in the absence of condoms and back-up protection if a condom breaks or slips off during anal intercourse. For those unable or unwilling to use condoms, rectal microbicides could be a safe and effective alternative means of reducing risk, especially if they were unobtrusive and/or enhanced sexual pleasure enough to motivate consistent use. Such alternatives are essential if we are to address the full spectrum of prevalent sexual practices and the basic human need for accessible, user-controlled HIV and STD prevention tools.

How to Reach International Rectal Microbicide Advocates


  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary