Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Survey uncovers surprising attitudes towards HIV vaccine research

09.08.2005


A survey of U.S. adults has found that a majority believe that HIV vaccines are the best hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic and are confident such vaccines can be made. But while most of those surveyed felt it personally important to help support HIV vaccine research, a majority expressed reluctance to support a friend or family member’s participation in an HIV vaccine clinical trial.

These were among the conflicting findings of a telephone survey of more than 3,500 adults to assess attitudes, knowledge and awareness of HIV vaccine research in the United States. The survey, conducted by members of the HIV Vaccine Communications Campaign of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, points to the ongoing challenges HIV vaccine researchers face. A paper on the survey results is available online now and will be published in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

"Tens of thousands of volunteers are required for the more than 30 HIV vaccine clinical trials currently planned or under way," says NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "It is essential that current and future trials involve volunteers from diverse communities to enable us to find a vaccine that works for all populations."



"It is clear that we have a lot of work to do in explaining HIV vaccine research," adds paper co-author Matthew Murguía, director of the Office of Program Operations and Scientific Information in the NIAID Division of AIDS. "We must develop strong partnerships with communities highly impacted by HIV/AIDS so individuals from these communities can make informed decisions about participating in HIV vaccine research."

The survey, conducted between December 2002 and February 2003, polled 2,008 U.S. adults, 18 or older, randomly selected from the general population. An additional 1,501 U.S. adults interviewed were randomly selected from each of three specific subpopulations highly affected by HIV--African Americans, Hispanics and men who have sex with men.

The survey uncovered some unexpected attitudes and beliefs:

  • 47 percent of African Americans, 26 percent of Hispanics, 13 percent of men who have sex with men and 18 percent of the general population believe that an HIV vaccine already exists but is being kept a secret.
  • Most subpopulation respondents--78 percent of African Americans, 68 percent of men who have sex with men and 57 percent of Hispanics--either do not know whether or incorrectly believe that the vaccines being tested can cause HIV infection. Only 24 percent of the general population responded comparably.
  • Among men who have sex with men, 77 percent cited HIV/AIDS as the most urgent health problem. Only a small percentage of the other groups surveyed, however, agreed: 11 percent of Hispanics, 15 percent of the general population and 22 percent of African Americans.
  • In general, women had less knowledge and awareness than men about HIV vaccine research.
  • High percentages of each group felt it was important to personally support HIV vaccine research: 89 percent of both Hispanics and of men who have sex with men, 86 percent of African Americans and 73 percent of the general population. Nonetheless, many were reluctant to express strong support for friends or family members volunteering for HIV vaccine trials. Only 29 percent of the general population and 35 percent of African Americans said they would be extremely or very supportive. Hispanics and men who have sex with men were more inclined to be supportive: 46 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

The NIAID team also assessed trust in the U.S. government’s ability to protect HIV vaccine trial volunteers. While about half of three groups--men who have sex with men (50 percent), African Americans (55 percent) and the general population (57 percent)--said they could trust the government to protect HIV vaccine trial volunteers, the rate of trust among Hispanics was significantly higher at 78 percent.

Based on interviews, focus groups and media analysis, NIAID team members first developed five key messages on vaccine research. They then designed the survey to determine whether these key messages were the most important ones for the HIV Vaccine Communications Campaign to address. These key messages were:

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent HIV infection.
  • Only HIV-negative individuals can volunteer for a preventive HIV vaccine trial.
  • You cannot become infected with HIV from the vaccines being tested.
    All populations must be involved in HIV vaccine research.
  • An HIV preventive vaccine, complemented by strong behavioral prevention programs and AIDS care and treatment, is the best way to end the epidemic.

The results of the survey, says Mr. Murguía, have helped identify which populations researchers need to target for better understanding of HIV vaccine research, as well as which messages need to be tailored to specific populations. The NIAID team will work to lower the barriers that inhibit potential volunteers from diverse populations from participating in HIV vaccine trials and to increase community support for those who volunteer for a trial.

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Linda Joy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>