Avac Event

New Ethical Guidelines for HIV Prevention Trials in People: What’s changed and why does it matter?

AVAC hosted a global Zoom meeting on HIV prevention research ethics entitled: “New Ethical Guidelines for HIV prevention trials in people: What’s changed and Why Does it Matter?”

The meeting exposed advocates, CABs and community members to revised UNAIDS/WHO and HPTN Ethical Guidelines for HIV prevention research, and facilitated a discussion on some of the salient changes and their implications for HIV prevention clinical research.

Panelists included:

  • Catherine Slack, PhD. Head, HIV AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Andreas Reis, MD, MSc. Co-Lead, Health Ethics & Governance Unit, WHO, Geneva
  • Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA. Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, US, and Chair of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Ethics Working Group

Session in Brief
In 2020 UNAIDS/WHO and HPTN published revised ethical guidance for HIV prevention clinical research. The revisions take into account the availability of highly effective prevention options, and seek to ingrain equity, non-discrimination, community support and social justice in prevention research.

During this session, prevention advocates engaged with bioethicists on key aspects of the revised ethical guidelines and how they will be put into practice. It built advocates’ literacy for engaging in next-generation prevention trials.

For more on the two guidelines and a comparison, see the latest AVAC Advocates’ Network announcement: Ethical Guidance In Focus


The August 5 meeting was part of AVAC’s research literacy effort called the Research Engagement Series, and was the second call in the series. The first occurred on May 6, focusing on the basics of next-generation trial design.