I want to thank DrillPress for setting these AMAs! I've found them to be very informative and interesting.
First and foremost, I just learned today that about 100 of the 298 on the plane that crashed in the Ukraine were researchers, healthcare workers, and activist en-route to the 20th International AIDS conference being held in Sydney, Australia this coming week. The loss of their lives (as with everyone who was on the flight) is saddening. The International AIDS conference is one of the few forums that actively brings together researchers and community advocates to participate in meaningful dialogue about HIV treatment and prevention.
I'm BehindDarkGlasses and I'm here to talk about HIV Prevention. HIV prevention that is both behavioral in nature as well as biomedical interventions such as condoms, vaccines, and PrEP.
My bonafides are:
1) Worked in the field on a mobile HIV counseling and testing unit to provide risk reduction counseling and testing to at-risk populations for the then largest AIDS Service Organization in my home city;
2) Worked at the local LGBT community managing and implementing a grant to increase awareness and understanding about research on a preventative HIV vaccine. During this period, I also participated as a clinical trial subject in a local phase IIb HIV vaccine trial.
3) Coordinated a trial site for a two city socio-behavioral research study on HIV prevention among young men who have sex with men that use substances/alcohol.
4) Worked at an international non-governmental organization that advocated for increased participation of women in clinical trials investigating new HIV prevention methods such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and microbicides. Here I focused on creating tools and trainings for advocates in the field to increase their literacy of HIV prevention research.
My educational background (my B.S. and the M.S. that I am pursuing) is in public health with a focus on health education in community settings.
I don't consider myself an 'expert' per se, just someone with some knowledge on the topic of HIV prevention through work experience. Most of what I've learned has been in the field working with colleagues on the ground that have less formal education than I but a vast amount of life and work experience behind them.
Other things I feel pretty confident talking about are cooking (I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 10 years, now each meat) and creating random lists about characters of genre shows and movies.
I'll probably be away from my laptop periodically through the afternoon, but will keep this thread open until tomorrow.