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CONRAD executive director to give Guttmacher lecture at Reproductive Health 2009

Los Angeles, CA On October 2nd, 2009, Henry Gabelnick PhD, Executive Director of The CONRAD Program, will give the prestigious Alan F. Guttmacher lecture at the 2009 Association for Reproductive Health Professionals conference being held in Los Angeles, California. Reproductive Health 2009 is a partnership among the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Medical Committee, and the Society of Family Planning. This is the 5th joint annual meeting of these three organizations.

Dr. Gabelnick's lecture, "The Challenge of Providing Dual Protection", draws attention to the increasing need for scientists, government and non-government agencies to fund and develop methods of contraception that also prevents HIV and STI infections. Global figures estimate that there are 76 million unwanted births, 50 million abortions, 536,000 maternal mortalities, 2.7 million new HIV infections and 340 million new cases of curable STIs each year.

A call to action for dual protection began over two decades ago among reproductive health professionals and since then, the CONRAD Program of the Eastern Virginia Medical School has been a leader in developing physical barrier methods of contraception, such as the Female Condom, the SILCS diaphragm, vaginal rings and sponges and chemical spermicides that also have various mechanisms of action that prevent HIV and STIs. CONRAD and other organizations are currently testing combination methods that use both a barrier such as a vaginal ring, impregnated with microbicides.

While USAID, PEPFAR and other organizations are making programmatic progress in terms of funding dual protection methods, there remain scientific challenges and improving prevention technology is largely dependent on funders recognizing that broad spectrum microbicidal activity combined with contraception needs to be funded more vigorously. Dr. Gabelnick will detail current developments, scientific challenges and potential solutions in his lecture.

Reproductive Health 2009 is being held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa in Los Angeles, California on September 30-October 3, 2009.


Contact: Annette Larkin

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