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.
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:
Currently in development, a microbicide is a cream or gel, or maybe a douche or an enema, that could be used to reduce a persons 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.