Felipe Vilcachagua, Retention Coordinator/Health Navigator
IMPACTA Barranco CRS, Lima, Peru
Since my second year as a psychology student, I became involved in educational projects on HIV prevention with adolescents. In 2017, as soon as I finished my studies, I started working with one of the NGOs that was responsible for the implementation of Global Fund projects.
Working in clinical trials was not my first choice, but I was aware of the importance of new HIV prevention and treatment strategies, and that brought me back to IMPACTA Salud y Educación. Years before I had been a voluntary participant in an innovative needle-free vaccination project (CUTHIVAC ) and in the PUMA study (Prevention Umbrella for MSM in the Americas) for HIV testing at home.
Since 2018, I have been part of the Community Involvement Unit at Impacta, as a tutor (health navigator) and Retention Coordinator responsible for prevention studies (including the AMP study) at the IMPACTA Barranco site.
What I like most is to facilitate the attention of our participants, and my biggest challenge is to see them satisfied in their participation. One thing I appreciate most about working with HVTN is the use of community education for the positive impact on the study populations. The fact that people can understand and practice HIV prevention in their life is very important. With their commitment, prevention has no limits.
In my free time I usually watch psychological animes, like Phycho Pass, where I like to analyze the tension between the individual’s decision and the social norm. A quote from Akane, the main character in Psycho Pass, that I always remember is, "It is not society which determines the future of people, it is the people who determine the future of society."