Inclusion of adolescents in preventive HIV vaccine trials: public health policy and research design at a crossroads.
ABSTRACT The search for a safe effective HIV vaccine has been a centerpiece of HIV research for almost 2 decades. More than 60 clinical HIV vaccine trials have been conducted to date. Several promising candidate HIV vaccines are in advanced clinical development. To date, however, no trial has included adolescents, one of the most important target groups for any preventive HIV vaccine. To license a vaccine for use in this age group, efficacy data or, at a minimum, bridging safety and immunogenicity data in this population are needed. To accomplish this, several critical issues and special challenges in the development and implementation of HIV vaccine trials in adolescents must be addressed, including regulatory considerations, potential differentials in safety and immunogenicity, alternative trial design strategies, recruitment and retention challenges, community involvement models, and approaches to informed consent/assent. This article examines these issues and proposes specific next steps to facilitate the routine inclusion of this high-priority population in preventive HIV vaccine trials as early and seamlessly as possible.
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ABSTRACT: By comparing younger to older participants enrolled in a HIV vaccine efficacy trial, we aimed to gain insights into the inclusion of adolescents in future trials. This was a sub-analysis of a multisite HIV vaccine randomized clinical trial in South Africa, conducted January-September 2007. Motivations for trial enrolment, social harms, adverse events and loss to follow-up were compared between younger (18-20 years old) and older participants (21-35 years old). Both younger (n = 238) and older participants (n = 563) were equally likely to report enrolling for altruistic reasons. Younger females were less likely than older participants to join for trial reimbursement (p = 0.005), while younger males were more likely to enrol because the vaccine may provide protection from HIV-acquisition (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the number of social harms reported. Compared to males over 20 years old, 18-20-year-old females were less likely to experience adverse events (OR = 0.1, CI 0.01-0.80) and no more likely to be lost to follow-up (OR = 0.7, CI 0.39-1.25), while 18-20-year-old males were no more likely to experience adverse events (OR = 1.3, CI 0.58-2.83) or loss to follow-up (OR = 0.8, CI 0.51-1.41). Our data support the inclusion of younger participants who are at risk for HIV in future HIV vaccine efficacy trials.International Journal of STD & AIDS 10/2013; · 1.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: South Africa has more people living with HIV than any other nation. The HIV epidemic in South Africa is being driven by new infections among adolescents. Inclusion of adolescents in HIV vaccine trials is essential for successful vaccine development, however, recruitment and retention of at-risk South African adolescents into these trials poses a number of legal, ethical and operational challenges. This article discusses the South African ethico-legal context in which future adolescent HIV vaccine trials would be conducted followed by a review of available data regarding strategies for recruitment into these trials and retention of trial participants.Journal of AIDS and HIV research (Online). 02/2012; 4(2):30-35.
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Future HIV vaccine efficacy trials with adolescents will need to ensure that participants comprehend study concepts in order to confer true informed assent. A Hepatitis B vaccine trial with adolescents offers valuable opportunity to test youth understanding of vaccine trial requirements in general. METHODS: Youth reviewed a simplified assent form with study investigators and then completed a comprehension questionnaire. Once enrolled, all youth were tested for HIV and confirmed to be HIV-negative. RESULTS: 123 youth completed the questionnaire (mean age=15 years; 63% male; 70% Hispanic). Overall, only 69 (56%) youth answered all six questions correctly. CONCLUSIONS: Youth enrolled in a Hepatitis B vaccine trial demonstrated variable comprehension of the study design and various methodological concepts, such as treatment group masking.Journal of medical ethics 01/2013; · 1.69 Impact Factor