International Conference On Aids India Presents Lifetime Achievement Award

October 20, 2005
Chennai, India

Today, the 5th International Conference on AIDS INDIA presented Dr. Henry Gabelnick, Director of CONRAD, with their Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to reproductive health and microbicide development. The presentation took place during the inaugural ceremony of the conference in Chennai.

"I'm incredibly honored to be recognized by such a distinguished group of scientists," said Dr. Gabelnick. "The scientific community has made great strides in reproductive health and microbicide development, but I feel that we have so much more to accomplish. I hope to have increased support, particularly in the area of microbicide development."

This year's conference focuses on new strategies such as microbicides to halt the incidence of HIV infections. India is now second to South Africa in the number of overall people living with AIDS and the epidemic continues to shift towards women and young people, and nearly half of people living with AIDS are women.

Dr. Gabelnick joined CONRAD at its inception in 1986 and is also a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. He has served on panels of the National Research Council, NIH and WHO and currently serves as President of the Society for the Advancement of Reproductive Care.

CONRAD is currently conducting Phase III trials of Ushercell, a microbicide consisting of cellulose sulfate, which will evaluate its efficacy for the prevention of HIV infection. Uganda and South Africa are the first of six locations to be involved in the trial; other sites include Benin, Burkina Faso and two centers in India, including Chennai and near Bangalore.

The Indian Council of Medical Research of New Delhi, India and CONRAD have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" on cooperation in microbicide research. The principal objective of the agreement is to facilitate broad cooperation in the development of new, safe and accessible methods of preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS and of other sexually transmitted diseases by means of microbicides, which would be suitable for use in developing countries.

CONRAD is a cooperating agency of USAID committed to improving reproductive health by expanding the contraceptive choices of women and men and by helping to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. CONRAD is administered through the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, VA, with the main office located in Arlington, VA.

Annette Larkin

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