Willingness of Entebbe Municipality residents to participate in future phase III HIV vaccine trials.
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Background: Although Phase III HIV vaccine trials are being planned, availability of information is limited on willingness to participate (WTP) among residents in urban areas. Objectives: To determine the level of and factors associated with willingness of Entebbe Municipality residents to participate in future Phase III HIV vaccine trials, and to establish their knowledge, beliefs and attitude towards participation. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among residents aged 18-50 years. Five research assistants collected data using 5 Focus Group Discussions, 8 Key Informant Interviews and 398 semi structured questionnaires. Two stage cluster sampling was used to obtain the study unit for the quantitative aspect of this study while purposive sampling was done for the qualitative aspect. Results: Just about half of the respondents, 53% (212/398) expressed willingness to participate in future efficacy trials. Prevention from HIV (51%) and the desire to have a protective vaccine (36%) were the main reasons for WTP. WTP was associated with “the need to conduct HIV vaccine trials [ARR 0.28, (95% CI 0.13 – 0.64)]”, “community support for trials [ARR 0.39, (95% CI 0.24 – 0.65)]” and “importance accorded to getting an HIV vaccine [ARR 0.49, (95% CI 0.27 – 0.90)]”. Unwillingness to participate was attributed mainly to unknown side effects of the trial vaccines (51%), the fear of getting infected by the vaccine (48%) and the long study duration (22%). Conclusion: The level of WTP in efficacy trials, in this urban study population is low compared to that from rural settings. Education particularly on HIV vaccine safety will be required before the efficacy trials begin.