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Ethical challenges in developing an educational video to empower potential participants during consent processes in HIV cure research in South Africa

Author List
Ciara Staunton
Malcolm de Roubaix
Dianno Dianno Baatjies
Gill Black
Melany Hendricks
Theresa Rossouw
Keymanthri Moodley

Abstract

Obtaining consent for HIV research is complex, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Low levels of education, complexity of science and research processes, confusion about basic elements of research, and socio-economic conditions that make access to medical care difficult have collectively led to concerns about the adequacy of the consent process. Given the exponential growth of HIV prevention and treatment research in South Africa, HIV researchers are increasingly facing challenges obtaining authentic informed consent from potential participants. It is anticipated that HIV cure research, despite being in its infancy in South Africa, will introduce a new discourse into a population that is often struggling to understand the differences between ‘cure’, ‘preventive and therapeutic vaccines’ and other elements of the research process. Coupled with this, South Africa has a complex history of ‘illegitimate’ or ‘false cures’ for HIV. It is therefore logical to anticipate that HIV cure research may face significant challenges during consent processes. HIV prevention research in South Africa has demonstrated the importance of early community engagement in educating potential research participants and promoting community acceptance of research. Consequently, in an attempt to extrapolate from this experience of engaging with communities early regarding cure research, a 15-minute educational video entitled ‘I have a dream: a world without HIV’ was developed to educate and ultimately empower potential research participants to make informed choices during consent processes in future HIV cure clinical trials. To aid others in the development of educational interventions, this paper discusses the challenges faced in developing this educational video.

Article Category

HIV cure research

Article Type

Original research

Posted Date

16-03-2018

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