Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Misunderstanding surrounds HIV vaccine trials: Study shows better communication needed with at-risk communities

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Better communication is needed around HIV vaccine trials to ensure those in at-risk communities understand the process and continue to participate, according to a new study.

Better communication is needed around HIV vaccine trials to ensure those in at-risk communities understand the process and continue to participate, according to a new University of Toronto study.

Related Articles


The study -- published in the September edition of the American Journal of Public Health -- centred around a major international HIV vaccine trial that was called off before completion in 2009. Researchers wanted to know what individuals in high-risk communities understood about the trial and its termination, and how that impacted their willingness to participate in and support future research.

"In order to find a vaccine for HIV, it's essential to have the participation of those in at-risk communities for vaccine trials," says lead author Peter A. Newman, Professor at U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. "Our study showed that we're not doing enough to adequately communicate the processes and outcomes of HIV vaccine trials to most-at-risk populations. There is still a lot of misinformation, distrust and misunderstanding out there, which could ultimately lead to people in high-risk communities refusing to participate in trials."

In Toronto and Ottawa, researchers interviewed nine focus groups made up of people from "high-risk" communities. They asked participants about their knowledge of vaccines and vaccine trials -- including the cancelled international trial -- and probed their understanding of why that trial was called off. Researchers also questioned participants about their willingness to participate in future trials.

A few key themes emerged, according to Newman, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Health and Social Justice at U of T:

  • Many people still believe that vaccine trials involve injecting a small amount of HIV into participants, a falsehood that could affect their willingness to participate in vaccine trials.
  • There is a distrust of doctors and medical researchers. The international vaccine trial was called off when researchers discovered a small subset of participants were placed at a higher risk of contracting HIV, but many people didn't believe this was an unforeseen consequence. Some participants believed the doctors/researchers must have been able to predict this consequence, and this reinforced their distrust in the medical system.
  • There is some confusion surrounding why HIV vaccine trials target people in high-risk communities. Some study participants saw this as unfair, from a social justice perspective.

"We found that there is a general altruism towards HIV vaccine trials in these communities, and a feeling that people should participate 'for the greater good,'" says Newman. "But there is also a lot of overriding confusion and misunderstanding, which illustrates a clear need for medical researchers and health professionals to do a better job of communicating with at-risk communities before, during and after trials."

Newman will present related findings at this year's annual AIDS Vaccine Conference in Bangkok between September 12 to 15.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. The original article was written by April Kemick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. A. Newman, C. Logie, L. James, T. Charles, J. Maxwell, K. Salam, M. Woodford. 'Speaking the Dialect': Understanding Public Discourse in the Aftermath of an HIV Vaccine Trial Shutdown. American Journal of Public Health, 2011; 101 (9): 1749 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300208

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Misunderstanding surrounds HIV vaccine trials: Study shows better communication needed with at-risk communities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906134005.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2011, September 6). Misunderstanding surrounds HIV vaccine trials: Study shows better communication needed with at-risk communities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906134005.htm
University of Toronto. "Misunderstanding surrounds HIV vaccine trials: Study shows better communication needed with at-risk communities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906134005.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins