Maria del Rosario Leon Rhandomy, Head of Community Involvement
IMPACTA CRSs, Lima, Peru
I have worked in the field of HIV for more than fifteen years. I graduated from Universidad de Lima, where I received a Bachelor of Social Communication degree and later completed a Master in Social Investment from Universidad del Pacifico (Peru). I worked in the National HIV Program of Peru as Head of the Information, Education and Communication unit in the implementation of behavioral interventions. My goal: people should be educated about HIV prevention.
However, it was clear that condom use was not enough and we need to work on new prevention strategies. In 2005, I worked as Community Educator at Impacta, on my first HIV vaccine trial, and also served as HVTN CER Co-Chair for the North and South America sites. Since 2007, I was the Community Educator for the Lima sites in the iPrEx trial on pre-exposure prophylaxis, where I designed the branding for the Andean sites, as well as community involvement, recruitment and retention strategies that contributed to the trial achievements. Since 2016, I am working on the AMP study.
One of the things that I appreciate the most about working with the HVTN is the permanent respect about education and community involvement efforts. These include: putting in action the Community Advisory Board recommendations, implementation of new strategies on recruitment of participants, as well as educational materials customization. Now, we continue contributing to the generation of science evidence in health and “the force is with us” (Yes! I am a Star Wars groupie. Alias: MaR Leia or Vader)