We explore ethical issues faced by investigators as they conduct research as part of a peer-delivered HIV/AIDS risk reduction program for injection drug users (IDUs). Staff and participant experiences in peer-delivered interventions among IDUs have come under scrutiny by ethics researchers because of their potential to inadvertently and negatively impact participant rehabilitation due to continued engagement with drug-using networks during the course of outreach. This study explores whether enhanced communication of participant concerns and experiences with clinic and research staff helps to reduce inadvertent malfeasance in peer-delivered drug treatment interventions. Results contribute to the development of patient support infrastructure in peer-delivered risk reduction programs involving IDUs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug use continues to be a major factor fueling the global epidemic of HIV infection. This article reviews the current literature on the ability of drug treatment programs to reduce HIV transmission among injection and noninjection drug users. Most data come from research on the treatment of opiate dependence and provide strong evidence on the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment for reducing the frequency of drug use, risk behaviors, and HIV infections. This has been a consistent finding since the epidemic began among diverse populations and cultural settings. Use of medications other than methadone (such as buprenorphine/naloxone and naltrexone) has increased in recent years with promising data on their effectiveness as HIV prevention and as new treatment options for communities heavily affected by opiate use and HIV infection. However, few treatment interventions for stimulant abuse and dependence have shown efficacy in reducing HIV risk. The cumulative literature provides strong support of drug treatment programs for improving access and adherence to antiretroviral treatment. Drug users in substance abuse treatment are significantly more likely to achieve sustained viral suppression, making viral transmission less likely. Although there are challenges to implementing drug treatment programs for maximum impact, the scientific literature leaves no doubt about the effectiveness of drug treatment as an HIV prevention strategy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used semi-structured interviews and content analysis to examine moral principles that street drug users apply to three hypothetical addiction research ethical dilemmas. Participants (n = 90) were ethnically diverse, economically disadvantaged drug users recruited in New York City in 2009 . Participants applied a wide range of contextually sensitive moral precepts, including respect, beneficence, justice, relationality, professional obligations, rules, and pragmatic self-interest. Limitations and implications for future research and the responsible conduct of addiction research are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efforts to increase community members' involvement in research may create novel ethical challenges. We describe an ongoing randomized trial of a peer-delivered intervention to encourage hypertension self-management. Community members serving as peer leaders participate in subject recruitment, the informed consent process, and intervention. We describe our experience with several ethical issues that may arise when conducting research in similar settings: (1) coercion of community members, by the community, to participate either as leaders or as study subjects; (2) threats to the privacy of health information; and (3) conflict between peer leaders' roles as community members and study team members.
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 12/2010; 5(4):43-51. DOI:10.1525/jer.2010.5.4.43 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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