Reasons for Declining to Enroll in a Phase I and II HIV Vaccine Trial after Randomization among Eligible Volunteers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tarimo, Edith A. M.; Thorson, Anna; Kohi, Thecla W.; Bakari, Muhammad; Mhalu, Fred; Kulane, Asli
February 2011
PLoS ONE;2011, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Recruitment, enrollment and retention of volunteers in an HIV vaccine trial is important in the efforts to ultimately develop a vaccine that can prevent new HIV infections. Following recruitment, some randomized individuals decline to be enrolled in an HIV vaccine trial. The reasons for such a decision are not well known. This article describes why individuals who were randomized in a phase I and II HIV vaccine trial in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania declined to be enrolled. Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 14 individuals (7 men and 7 women). Repeated readings of the 14 interview transcripts to look for reasons for declining to enroll in the trial were performed. Data was analyzed using the content analysis approach. Results: Informants expressed fear of the outcome of an experimental HIV vaccine in their lives. Unlike women, some men were concerned over the effect of the vaccine on their reproduction intentions. Women were concerned about the unknown effects of the vaccine in their bodies. Also, to a large extent, informants faced resistance from significant others such as fiancées, parents, relatives, and friends. Women were influenced by their potential intimate sexual partners; men were forbidden by their parents, and mothers had the most influential opinion. Conclusions: Fear of the negative outcome of an experimental vaccine and resistance from significant others are the main reasons for declining to enroll in the HIV vaccine trial among eligible volunteers after randomization. The resistance from the significant others provides valuable guidance for designing future trials in Tanzania; for example, expanding the HIV vaccine trial education to the general population from the onset of the trial design.


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