Launched in June 2004, the Cervical Barrier Advancement Society (CBAS), is an international professional networking organization that aims to raise the profile of cervical barriers, both for preventing pregnancy and potentially HIV and other STIs. This idea grew out of discussions at meetings such as the “Diaphragm Renaissance Meeting.”
The “Diaphragm Renaissance” focused new attention on diaphragms and cervical caps as methods that may protect women from HIV. In September 2002, PATH, the University of California at San Francisco, and Ibis Reproductive Health co-hosted this meeting in Seattle, WA to re-examine the role that cervical barriers can play in protecting women from HIV and other STIs. Eighty international experts participated, and the Diaphragm Renaissance Meeting generated significant interest and raised awareness of cervical barrier methods, particularly within the HIV/STI research community. Subsequent meetings have solidified support for creating a more formal networking organization for groups working on cervical barriers.
Ibis Reproductive Health and the other partners the Methods for Improving Reproductive Health in Africa (MIRA) trial, which studied the effectiveness of the diaphragm and Replens® gel to prevent HIV/STI transmission, took the lead in establishing CBAS. Since publishing results on the MIRA trial, CBAS has expanded to sharing information about and bringing together researchers working on all types of cervical barriers and barrier-microbicide combinations.
CBAS facilitates networking between organizations, shares information and research updates, raises awareness of work being done on barrier methods, and helps spark new ideas and collaborations.