Introduction An estimated 36.7 million people live with HIV/AIDS in 2015, with more than 3 million people living with the virus in Nigeria, ranking the country among the top three most affected. Because adults are mostly affected by this epidemic, their inclusion in HIV vaccine trials is of utmost importance in obtaining an effective and acceptable vaccine. This study objectives were to determine the proportion of adults willing-to-participate (WTP) in early HIV vaccine trial, evaluate the factors determining their participation as well as their entire knowledge and perception about HIV vaccine trials. Hypotheses tested included association between WTP and age, gender and knowledge about the vaccine.
Methods Data was obtained from 3500 young persons (15–49 years) recruited by a multi-stage sample technique between September 2015 and September 2016. The cross-sectional study was carried out using a face-to-face interview by trained volunteers and supervised by appointed supervisors and investigators. An informed consent was obtained through a pre-tested structured questionnaire, with questions addressing socio-demographics, HIV vaccine studies knowledge and perception, sexual behaviour and possible stigma from HIV vaccine trial participation. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics and Research Committee of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, Nigeria. Data was analysed using SPSS software, with significance fixed at p<0.05.
Results The mean age ± SD was 27.53±3.46 years. 1094 (31.3%) expressed their willingness to definitely participate in the vaccine studies while 999 (28.5%) reported that they may participate especially if a very tangible incentive will be given. Unwillingness to participate was associated with safety concerns (12.0), side effects (5.0%), fear of HIV infection from vaccine (4.1%), time required for study (1.9%) and partner’s sexual intercourse refusal (1.2%). 983 (28.3%) reported people in good health, HIV negative individuals and at low risk of HIV infection, are eligible for HIV vaccine trial. There was a significant association between willing to participate in HIV vaccine trials as well as age and gender.
Conclusion Participation in an HIV vaccine trial in a Nigerian context is likely to be influenced by comprehensive education about the vaccine trial concept, addressing issues relating to concerns and possible risks pertaining to participation as well as incentives, as the WTP in the vaccine trial is quite low probably due to the participants’ perception and inadequate knowledge as evidenced in this research.
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