BACKGROUND: The objective of the study was to ascertain the reason why women within the sugar estate area of the Microbicides Development Program Mazabuka site, where they have a better social economic status, do not want to enroll in the Phase III Microbicides clinical trial of the candidate anti-HIV vaginal microbicide gel PRO2000/5 to the same extent as in the town area where women's educational and economic status is low. METHODS: A simple survey of 147 women in the estate area was conducted to find out: what they might have heard or knew about the MDP, and what their partners know about the study. RESULTS: The data collected showed that: 20% (29) thought that only invited people could join the study; 20% (29) thought that only HIV+ people of those that felt they were HIV positive joined the study and got medication; 10% (15) did not know anything about the study; and 50% (74) thought it was a VCT (voluntary counselling and testing) centre. At least 70% (103) of these women had got their information from friends who had never visited the clinic. CONCLUSION: This experience highlights the challenges in conveying correct information about the trial so as to enable women to participate, in a context of other non-research HIV related activities such as VCT. Mobilization strategies for research studies need to clearly differentiate themselves so as to avoid misunderstanding.
Kayombo, L. Reasons behind low responses to joining the MDP trial by women living in the Sugar Plantation in Mazabuka, Zambia. Presented at Microbicides 2008, New Delhi, India, 24-27 February 2008. (2008)