Informed consent for HIV cure research in South Africa: issues to consider

Staunton, Ciara ORCID logoORCID: (2015) Informed consent for HIV cure research in South Africa: issues to consider. BMC Medical Ethics, 16 . ISSN 1472-6939 [Article] (doi:10.1186/1472-6939-16-3)

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Background: South Africa has made great progress in the development of HIV/AIDS testing, treatment and prevention campaigns. Yet, it is clear that prevention and treatment campaigns alone are not enough to bring this epidemic under control.
Discussion: News that the “Berlin patient” and the “Mississippi baby” have both been “cured” of HIV brought hope to people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa that a cure for HIV/AIDS is within reach. Despite the recent setbacks announced in the “Mississippi Baby” case, protocols aimed at curing HIV/AIDS are being developed in South Africa. However with evidence to suggest that participants in clinical trials do not understand the basic concepts in the informed consent process, there is concern that future participants in HIV/AIDS cure research will lack comprehension of the basic elements of future clinical trials that aims to cure HIV/AIDS and confuse research with clinical care.
Summary: Research ethics committees have an important role to play in ensuring that participants understand the basic concepts discussed in the informed consent process, that they understand that research is not clinical care and they are unlikely to benefit from any early phase trials seeking to cure HIV/AIDS.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article number = 3
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 23970
Notes on copyright: © Staunton; licensee BioMed Central. 2015.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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Depositing User: Ciara Staunton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 12:50
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:01

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