HIV Center Investigators Receive the Microbicide Trials Network Innovation Award

March 24, 2016

Dr. Alex Carballo-Diéguez and Team Win Award from Microbicide Trials Network

On March 16, 2016, the closing day of the annual meeting of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), a team of HIV Center investigators received the MTN Innovation Award based on their work on the MTN 017 study.

MTN 017 was a Phase II study that evaluated whether a reduced glycerin formulation of tenofovir gel is safe and acceptable as a rectal microbicide. The study enrolled 195 men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women at trial sites in Peru, South Africa, Thailand and the United States, including Puerto Rico.

Alex Carballo-Diéguez, Ph.D. headed the MTN-017 behavioral team in implementing a comprehensive adherence support and measurement program, which included an adherence counseling training component led by Ivan Balán, Ph.D. of the HIV Center.

The award was presented before an audience of several hundred national and international members of the MTN. Dr. Sharon Hillier, a principal investigator of the MTN, highlighted the multilingual capacity of the HIV Center’s team and the challenging work that it undertook interviewing participants remotely in Thai, Xhosa, Spanish and English. She also cited the team’s innovative use of SMS text messaging to monitor adherence in real-time.

Dr. Carballo- Diéguez, a Co-Director of the HIV Center, is a member of the leadership group of the MTN, an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network established in 2006. The MTN brings together international investigators and community and industry partners whose work is focused on the development and rigorous evaluation of promising microbicides – products applied inside the vagina or rectum that are intended to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.

Pictured above are team leader Dr. Alex Carballo-Diéguez (at right) with team members (from left) Ms. Rebecca Giguere and Dr. William Brown III. At center, presenting the award, is Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at NIAID, the institute that provides the funding for their work. Pictured at the podium is Dr. Sharon Hillier, a principal investigator of the MTN.



Clinical Care, Faculty Honors