Ethical challenges in HIV microbicide research: What protections do women need?
- IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 2011
- pp. 124-143
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Finding an effective method that can lower women’s risk of HIV infection is an ethical imperative. A vaginal microbicide is a preventive method that can be controlled by women. Well-designed scientific research has already yielded modest success, yet more research is needed in order to develop an even better product. But just as research must be scientifically sound, it must also be ethically sound. Ethical challenges in HIV microbicide research include issues of safety and level of efficacy, whether pregnant women and adolescents should be included in clinical trials, and whether male partners of women participants should be involved in any way in the process of obtaining informed consent.