Education And Debate

Ethics guidance for HIV prevention trials

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:340
  1. Kathleen M MacQueen (, senior scientist1,
  2. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, epidemiologist2,
  3. Jeremy Sugarman, director3
  1. 1Family Health International, PO Box 13950, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC 27709, USA,
  2. 2Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
  3. 3Center for the Study of Medical Ethics and Humanities, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  1. Correspondence to: K M MacQueen
  • Accepted 23 June 2003

International trials of HIV prevention strategies are necessary to end the AIDS pandemic, but they present complex ethical challenges that are not uniformly or adequately addressed in existing guidance documents. The HIV Prevention Trials Network has developed ethics guidance that incorporates best practices and emerging consensus on four areas:

  • General principles

  • Meeting local needs and priorities

  • Care and prevention

  • Informed consent.1

Further discussion of these issues is available on The guidance emphasises concern for communities as well as participants and grounds obligations within a participatory process. It outlines procedures for balancing obligations and …

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