Ethical, Behavioral, and Social Aspects of HIV Vaccine Trials In Developing Countries

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Host country scientists, government officials, and media must be actively involved in all aspects of the trials. Minimum prerequisites for conducting the trial include the following: (1) researching vaccines active against developing world HIV isolates; (2) establishing and maintaining an adequate technological infrastructure; (3) assessing the feasibility of recruitment in countries where the existence of HIV may be denied; (4) designing methods to obtain informed consent from each individual subject, rather than exclusively from family members or community elders; (5) creating locally appropriate instruments to measure risk behavior; (6) identifying a behavioral intervention for placebo and treatment groups; (7) making available laboratory methods to distinguish between natural HIV infection and vaccine-induced seropositivity; and (8) guaranteeing that an effective vaccine is available free of charge to the placebo group and at affordable prices to other host country residents.

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