Marie joined ITM in 1984 to work on sexually transmitted infections and HIV, first in Nairobi, Kenya and in Kinshasa, DRC (Project SIDA) and later in Côte d’Ivoire ( Project Retro-CI ).
She did numerous short term missions to Africa and Asia, focusing on better understanding of the HIV epidemic as well as designing and evaluating interventions to address the epidemic.
Marie Laga and her team contributed significantly to HIV prevention science in the area’s of sexual transmission and its co-factors, prevention programs for vulnerable groups such as female sex workers, youth and men who have sex with men, evaluation of female controlled methods and linkages of sexual and reproductive health. In recent years, Marie Laga has become a leading expert in HIV prevention, advocating for intensifying HIV prevention worldwide.
She provides policy support and technical assistance in the areas of strengthening HIV prevention for numerous international and local organisations.
- Development and evaluation of interventions to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections between commercial sex workers and their clients.
- Development and evaluation of interventions to reduce unsafe sexual behaviour among young people.
- Clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of vaginal microbicides (these are products that women can insert into the vagina and that are designed to block the transmission of HIV during sexual intercourse).
- Operational research on improving links between health services for HIV and services for other reproductive health problems, such as antenatal care.
- Research on the impact of HIV control programmes on general health services in developing countries.