Anna Forbes, MSS (she/her) began her career as a community organizer, writer, public policy strategist, and women’s health activist in 1978. She was hired by Philadelphia’s first HIV/AIDS organization in 1985 as their first case manager and worked with local organizations, including Philadelphia’s Health Department, to mobilize services and build understanding of HIV/AIDS. Anna’s output ranged from a series of children’s books on AIDS to a course on “public policy through the lens of HIV” taught at Bryn Mawr College. With ACT UP, she was repeatedly arrested in civil disobedience actions highlighting the HIV/AIDS crisis.
In 1998, Anna joined the Global Campaign for Microbicides, an international effort to address women’s urgent need for user-controlled HIV prevention tools. As Deputy Director, she worked with local GCM staff and civil society groups in Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, building demand for microbicide research and development. She specialized in mobilizing sex workers and young women, key constituencies particularly in need of such products. The 2012 International Microbicides Conference awarded her the Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy. Now a writer and consultant, Anna works with organizations like UNAIDS, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, University of the Witswatersrand Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, the US Department Health and Human Services, and Open Society Foundations, among many others. Currently, she is working to raise public awareness of how criminalizing sex work both violates human rights and facilitates HIV transmission.