Reported Participation Benefits in International HIV Prevention Research with People Who Inject Drugs

Jeremy Sugarman, Ilana Trumble, Erica Hamilton, Riza Sarasvita, Kostyantyn Dumchev, Ha Viet, Irving Hoffman, William Miller, Brett Hanscom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given ethical concerns about research involving people who inject drugs and those affected by HIV, identifying potential participation benefits is important. We evaluated participant-reported benefits in a trial conducted in Indonesia, Ukraine, and Vietnam that assessed an intervention combining psychosocial counseling and referral for antiretroviral therapy and substance use treatment for HIV-infected people who use drugs. Reported benefits were aggregated into three groups: clinical (antiretroviral therapy, reduced cravings, reduced drug use, lab testing, medical referral, mental health, physical health), social (employment, financial, relationships, reduced stigma), and general (gained knowledge, life improvement). Overall, 438 index participants (90.5%) and 642 injection partners (83.1%) reported at least one benefit. Significantly more index participants who received the study intervention reported at least one benefit versus those who received the standard of care. Clinical trial participation can provide broad direct and indirect benefits for stigmatized populations, which has implications for assessing the ethical appropriateness of studies with such populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalEthics and Human Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV clinical trials
  • Human subjects research
  • people who inject drugs
  • research benefits
  • research risks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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