XIX International AIDS Conference

MOWS02 Respect, Protect, Fulfill: Guidance on Community Engagement for Men Who Have Sex with Men and HIV-related Research in Rights Constrained Settings
  Scientific Skills Development
Venue: Mini Room 2
Time: 23.07.2012, 11:00 - 12:30
Language:           English

Level:                  Intermediate

Target audience: Activist, Social or behavioural science researcher, Community-based researcher

Seating limits:    100
Co-Facilitators: Kent Klindera, United States
Stefan Baral, United States
Rhon Reynolds, Netherlands
Cheikh Traore, United States
Prince Bahati, Kenya
This workshop will build skills of researchers and community representatives on conducting research with men who have sex with men (MSM), to increase the benefits of such research and minimize the potential harm. Facilitators will distribute copies of a guidance document, developed by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Johns Hopkins University, and the United Nations Development Programme through a global participatory process with researchers and community representatives. A checklist of factors for both researchers and community organizations will be shared, followed by case studies from recent MSM and HIV-specific research studies conducted in Africa and Latin America, all having strong community engagement strategies in the design, implementation and dissemination. Both successes and challenges of these studies will be offered for participants to reflect on their own situation. Ample time will be allotted for open dialogue, allowing participants to share strategies to improve such research.

Welcome and review objectives and agenda

P. Bahati, Kenya

Development of the guidance

S. Baral, United States

Overview of the guiidance and checklists

K. Klindera, United States
C. Traore, United States

Case study 1: Mbabane, Swaziland

X. Mabusa, Swaziland

Case study 2: Latin America

C. Caceres, Peru

Case study 3: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

T. Teferi, Namibia

Breakout discussions

Re-convening to share findings and new strategies

Conclusions and commitments

Powerpoints presentations
Overview of the guiidance and checklists -

Rapporteur report

CPC report by Laurel Sprague

A panel of researchers and community members involved in research with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) presented newly created guidance on conducting HIV research with these communities in rights constrained environments. This guidance, created through a participatory process organized by amfAR, IAVI, and Johns Hopkins, was designed to support researchers in ethically engaging with particpants and communities to know and assert their rights in their relationships with researchers. The impetus for the guidance is the tremendous increase in research focused on MSM and LGBT communities in the last five years: increasing numbers of researchers creates an increased need for understanding the fundamental issues of community engagement. In particular, researchers need to know how to reach marginalized communities and how to assess the risk and danger to participants, including the potential of backlash when studies are published. Researchers and community members involved with the guidance shared case studies from research conducted in Swaziland, Peru, and Ethiopia.

The guidance provides a a crucial framework, including checklists, for community members and for researchers based on three pillars: Respect, Protect, and Fulfill.

  • “Respect” requires that communities be included as full partners in the design, implementation, and dissemination of results, including co-authorship and hiring of community members and inclusion of adequate funds for community involvement and capacity-building in the research budget.
  • “Protect” calls for researchers to prevent harm to participants and protect their rights. This requires that researchers prepare in advance for hostile environments and media reports and recognize that research can bring attention to MSM/LGBT issues, which can increase risk of human rights violations against the entire group.
  • “Fulfill” requires capacity-building for both communities and researchers and calls for assurances that participants will receive on-going access to the same quality of services that were provided during the research. 


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.

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