Communities Affected by HIV Must Have a Voice in Clinical Research

Look for women mentors and make use of the spaces we have created for you.

-- Morenike Ukpong-Folayan, FWACS

In an interview on behalf of IFARA at CROI 2017, Dázon Dixon Diallo spoke with Morenike Ukpong-Folayan about how women of African descent and other underserved communities are impacted by research.

One of the roles of community leaders is to translate the research presented at medical conferences into language that their communities can understand. Another is to empower their communities to demand a voice in how clinical trials are designed and who is recruited for them. This includes pushing for the inclusion of women, while considering their unique biological and cultural characteristics.

Any data presented at conferences should discuss how it might be impacted by gender differences. This is especially important because the lack of success in microbicide trials has shifted the focus to oral pre-exposure prophylaxis. That form of HIV prevention is more likely to be accessed by men. Yet, there are real biological and social differences that impact not only HIV prevention and treatment but also women's willingness to use specific methods or drugs. Women must speak up to demand more research into these differences.

Watch the video to learn more:

About the panelists:

  • Dázon Dixon Diallo, M.P.H., D.H.L., SisterLove, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Morenike Ukpong-Folayan, M.B.A., B.Ch.D., FWACS, New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society, Lagos, Nigeria.

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.