Learn from other trials when planning your own

A review of the media environment in Cameroon showed that several news stories about a previous HIV prevention trial reported that researchers were injecting women with HIV. The study team responded by ensuring that all talking points and messages mentioned that the study product does not cause HIV and that women are never exposed to HIV by researchers.

A scan at one South African site revealed that during a previous trial, a rumor had circulated that the test product undermined the effectiveness of modern contraceptives. The staff members involved in the current trial made sure that all of their communications materials emphasized that the vaccine they were testing did not interfere with fertility or with contraceptive methods.

Conversations with potential stakeholders in Peru revealed that they were concerned about a planned pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) study because similar studies had been stopped in other parts of the world. The investigators immediately invited all stakeholders to an open community forum where they shared the protocol and sought comment and community input. The investigators addressed community concerns and the study successfully started a few months later.

October 2nd, 2013