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Inaugural Omololu Falobi Awards for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy

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Inaugural Omololu Falobi Awards for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research

Community Advocacy Given to Two Long-Time Advocates

" Awards Presented at the International Microbicide 2008 Conference Recognize

Exceptional Community Advocacy and International Leadership as Critical in

Advancing Microbicides Research "

24 February, New Delhi, India – Two advocates have received the inaugural

Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community

Advocacy. The awards honor the late Omololu Falobi, a long-time HIV advocate

and journalist who founded Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria, was an

instrumental pioneer member of the Nigerian Treatment Access Movement, and

co-founded the Nigerian HIV Vaccine & Microbicide Advocacy Group. Omololu was

killed in Lagos, Nigeria in October 2006.

The award was created to celebrate the life and values of this remarkable man

and to create an ongoing legacy that recognizes his commitment and lasting

contributions to HIV prevention research advocacy. The award will highlight the

essential role of community advocacy and leadership in HIV prevention research.

“Omololu was a visionary leader and activist, who accomplished much in his short

life. He dedicated himself to powerful advocacy around HIV and HIV prevention

research in Nigeria, Africa and worldwide. He set new standards for HIV

journalism on the continent and facilitated dialogue and engagement between

communities, researchers, policy makers, media and civil society around vaccines

and microbicides,” said Warren of AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition.

“This award will honor advocates around the world who share Omololu’s vision.”

Impressed with the calibre of the individuals nominated, the independent review

committee have selected two individuals to receive the inaugural Omololu Falobi

Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy award –

Srikrishnan Aylur Kailasam for community advocacy, and Lori Heise for

international leadership. This is a mirror to Omololu’s own work and vision –

community focus with international scope.

Srikrishnan Aylur Kailasam is the Research Manager at the Y.R. Gaitonde Center

for AIDS Research and Education in Chennai, India.

Kailasam was honored for his pivotal role in working with and supporting

marginalized communities in research settings. In selecting Kailasam for this

Award, the selection committee noted his leadership in community research in

India, and his commitment to, and respect for the communities that he works

with. This has enabled those communities to be not only more informed about

research and the importance of research, but also benefit from that research.

Kailasam has worked tirelessly to develop bridges between science and community,

and strives to improve the quality of life of the communities he serves.

Lori Heise is the Director for the Global Campaign for Microbicides, based in

Washington D.C. Heise was honored for her leadership and commitment to the

involvement of communities in microbicide research as partners, and her

visionary leadership as a founding member of the Global Campaign for


The selection committee praised Heise’s practice in cultivating leadership and

inspiring advocates worldwide. It is with this mandate, that she has led the

Campaign to use its resources to build capacity, support leadership, and

implement joint projects with other NGOs, many of them now vital leaders. The

committee highlighted one referee’s words in saying, “the field of microbicide

advocacy is the lengthened shadow of one woman, Lori Heise”

The honorees were chosen by an independent international panel of HIV prevention

research advocates and researchers, including Salim Abdool Karim of South

Africa, Nomita Chandhiok of India, Tim Farley of Switzerland, Nadine France of

Thailand, Shaun Mellors of the South Africa, Menezes of Brazil, Kingsley

Obom-Egbulem of Nigeria, Badri Saxena of India, and Laurie Sylla of USA. The

award review committee was constituted and invited to play this role by the

Award Planning Committee.

The inaugural Falobi awards will be presented at the Closing Ceremony of

International Microbicides 2008 Conference in New Delhi, India. The planning

committee has raised resources to ensure that the award is sustained through the

next decade.

“This award is important in keeping Omololu’s vision alive. It will be a visible

platform for ongoing recognition of the contribution of advocates and leaders to

the HIV prevention research field,” said Olayide Akanni of Journalists Against

AIDS in Nigeria. “We are pleased to launch the award by honouring two people who

have made enormous contributions to the field. Omololu would be proud of their

work and deserving of this honour.”

The award was conceptualised and the process coordinated by the African

Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) in partnership with the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy

Coalition (AVAC), the Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), Journalists

Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), the Nigerian HIV Vaccine & Microbicides

Advocacy Group (NHVMAG), and the Treatment Action Movement Nigeria (TAM).

Financial support for the 2008 Award came from AMAG, AVAC, GCM, NHVMAG and

Family Health International.

Dr.Ashok Rau

Executive Trustee/CEO

Freedom Foundation-India, Nigeria, and Botswana

(Centers of Excellence- Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS)

Head Office: 180, Hennur Cross, Bangalore - 560043, India

Senior Research Fellow, TheTerry Sanford Institute of Public Health,Duke


Visiting Faculty, Yale University (USA)

Phone (O) +91 80 25440134, 25449766, 25430611

Fax (O) +91 80 25440134


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