September 6, 2018
Written by Michele Peake Andrasik, PhD, Christian Chandler, MPH, Borris Powell, BA, Damon Humes, MHS, Steven Wakefield, BS, Katharine Kripke, PhD, and Daniel Eckstein, MA
Objectives. We obtained contextual information regarding documented barriers to HIV clinical trial participation among Black men who have sex with men (MSM), and explored current preventive HIV clinical trial attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions among Black MSM leaders in the United States.
Methods. We conducted 2 focus groups with Black MSM leaders attending an annual African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS. Focus group questions explored biomedical research perceptions and attitudes, barriers to participation in biomedical prevention research, and steps that need to be taken to address these barriers. A feedback and member checking (participants presented with final themes to provide feedback and guidance) session was also held at the 2012 conference.
Results. Three distinct themes emerged regarding Black MSM engagement and participation in HIV vaccine research: (1) community-based organizations as true partners, (2) investment in the Black gay community, and (3) true efforts to inform and educate the community.
Conclusions. A key focus for improving efforts to engage the Black MSM community in preventive HIV clinical trials is building and maintaining equitable and reciprocal partnerships among research institutions, Black-led AIDS service organizations and community-based organizations, and community members.