New York Times Profiles Difficulty of Recruiting HIV Vaccine Trial Participants
The New York Times today profiles the stigma, lack of knowledge and distrust surrounding HIV vaccines that have made it difficult for researchers to recruit volunteers for vaccine clinical trials. Researchers say that the mistaken idea that an HIV vaccine could transmit HIV has been the greatest obstacle in their attempts to recruit volunteers, according to the Times. In addition, the stigma attached to taking part in the trials, which stems from the erroneous notion that the vaccine is given to HIV-positive people to "cure" the disease, has presented a further challenge to recruiters, according to the Times. Researchers have also faced problems recruiting minority volunteers, who are crucial to the trials, due to a distrust of medical research. African Americans represent only 7% to 8% of the NIH Vaccine Research Center's trial participants, even though the center spends 60% to 70% of its time and money on recruiting volunteers from the black community, according to Dr. Barney Graham, director of clinical studies at the center (Villarosa, New York Times, 5/27). The full article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.