The Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), which has been housed at PATH since its inception nearly 15 years ago, will close operations by September.
GCM was established to generate political pressure for increased investment in the development of microbicides, compounds that can be applied inside the vagina or rectum to protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The campaign’s founding goals included ensuring that the rights of clinical trial participants, users, and communities were represented and respected throughout the development process.
Throughout its history, GCM has been a champion for the ethical development of HIV prevention options and for access to them, especially for women. The campaign’s dedicated staff and steering committee members have advanced work in microbicides by mobilizing political will, enabling ethical clinical research, and strengthening advocates’ and communities’ involvement in research and clinical trials. GCM is known as a trusted partner and convener and has worked to forge collaborations between civil society, policymakers, researchers, industry, and others committed to HIV prevention efforts.
In the years since GCM’s founding, advancements have lead to changes in the circumstances surrounding this critical work. A strong voice is still necessary to ensure that the needs of women are represented in discussions of emerging technologies. Changes in funding and in GCM’s operations over the past several months, however, mean that the campaign’s ability to fill this role has shifted. After serious consideration, the campaign’s leaders at PATH made the decision to end GCM’s operations.