AVAC puts stakeholder engagement in research into practice.
The individuals affected by research—especially clinical trials—need to be represented and respected in the scientific, product development, clinical trials and access processes. Many other stakeholders including policy makers, media, advocates and activists are also integral to ethical research conduct. Stakeholder engagement ensures that research and emerging products are acceptable to the individuals and communities where they are needed most.
AVAC is committed to the principle that people impacted by biomedical HIV prevention belong at the center of research and implementation. In practice, this means linking researchers, trial site staff, civil society groups, people living with HIV, policy makers and many others into constructive informed, dialogue. Our Advocacy Fellows, publications and programmatic activities all seek to build strong linkages between scientists and non-scientists so that we work as one community.
The Good Participatory Practice guidelines for biomedical HIV prevention research are a foundation for this work. AVAC and UNAIDS first developed this document, known as GPP, in 2007. The guidelines lay out suggested practices for engaging stakeholders in each step of the research proces. Now in its second edition, GPP has been used in a range of HIV prevention trials and adapted in other fields. It was referenced by US President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues as a key resource for ensuring ethical research.
AVAC's work around GPP and stakeholder engagement includes:
- Building research literacy in civil society coalitions and individuals—so that the concerns, questions and priorities of various stakeholders help shape research.
- Convening the Community of Practice for trial site staff who implement GPP.
- Supporting GPP consultations and trainings for trial sites and advocates to help them use these guidelines.
- Develop supplementary tools for implementing and monitoring GPP.
- Working with national regulatory authorities to adopt GPP at the country level.