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Issues, Ethics, and You: A Community Discussion of HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse Research and Treatment



Nashville, TN
June 23-24, 2003

Sponsored by:
National Institute on Drug Abuse
[Summary] [Recommendations] [Agenda] [Faculty]


Recommendations

Conference participants had the following recommendations:

  • There is a need for more conferences like this one that bring together all stakeholders (community, researchers, clinicians and government) in order to build and nurture the partnerships needed to address the complex ethical, medical, and practical issues surrounding research, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse;
  • To enhance the usefulness of such conferences, relatively short presentations should be included to provide common background information to individuals representing very different professional backgrounds, e.g. information on addiction for HIV researchers, information on clinical research procedures for drug counselors, etc.
  • To ensure the “real-world” applicability of conference recommendations, mechanisms should be developed to allow the legally protected participation of clients (individuals with active substance use) in conferences designed to address these issues;
  • Introduction of all conference participants at the beginning, rather than at the end of the conference would serve to break down barriers existing between participants with different professional backgrounds;
  • Future conferences should address the special needs of children and adolescents, health insurance, mental health and homelessness, stigma, domestic violence and hepatitis C as they impact HIV/AIDS and substance abuse;
  • Plans for recruitment of substance users into clinical trials, such as the HIV Vaccine Phase III Trials, should accommodate the ethical issues which differ for both participants and treatment providers depending on the individual's stage of treatment or recovery;
  • More effort should be devoted to informing the general public, particularly within minority communities, of 1) the protections afforded to human subjects in research such as IRBs, data monitoring boards, patient advocates, 2) the avenues available for community involvement in research such as community advisory boards and community membership on IRBs and 3) the relationship between research and treatment;
  • Mechanisms should be developed to allow and ensure community input into identifying and defining federal funding priorities when addressing the social determinants of disease and health disparities;
  • Funding mechanisms need to be more community-friendly;
  • Additional funding needs to be identified for community-based and community-originated research into the social, ethical, and political determinants of health and health disparities particularly involving issues of stigma, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.


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