Navigation Links
Careless reporting on HIV 'could cost lives'

Medical researchers must engage with the media to ensure that controversy surrounding HIV/AIDS is reported accurately, concludes a study.

Failure to do so could have disastrous consequences for public health, says Edward Mills, lead author of the paper in the online journal BMC International Health and Human Rights.

Mills says that media reports were partly responsible for trials of the HIV drug tenofovir being cancelled in Cambodia in 2004 and in Cameroon earlier this year (see Cambodia's prime minister halts AIDS drug trial, and Cameroon suspends trial of AIDS drug after protests).

Mills and colleagues found that media reports about opposition to the trials varied greatly, and some were "entirely incorrect".

Some reports said opposition grew because trial participants were not offered adequate medical insurance, others said it was because those taking part were being exploited, and still others said it was because participants were given consent forms that they could not understand.

This high variability shows the difficulty in getting information from trial organisers, says Mills.

Mills, who used to run clinical trials but now works on human rights aspects of HIV trials, acknowledges that it is difficult to say what led the Cambodian prime minister and Cameroon's Ministry of Public Heath to close the trials down.

But he believes the media reports combined with activists' protests to "create a situation that brought embarrassment to the ministries".

Mills says that given the role of the media in reporting on future trials, the purpose of his team's study is "not to blame the media, but to encourage [researchers] to engage with the media".

Bruce Lewenstein, professor of science communication at Cornell University in the United States, told SciDev.Net that the study's conclusion that trial organisers must more actively engage the media is not new.

He adds though that this might be the fir st time a report has shown that failing to do this can have serious political and public health consequences, such as ending clinical trials.

However, says Lewenstein, [Mills and his colleagues] are "writing from a perspective in which they are convinced that the trials should have proceeded".

Public engagement in science involves, he explains, "giving up a bit of the power to decide when a trial proceeds and when it does not."

In agreement with Mills and colleagues, he says "this means there is a much greater responsibility on the scientists to engage with the community in advance".

In Cameroon, the allegations of breaches of ethics prompted the government to set up an independent inquiry, which led to the interruption of the trial.

Link to full paper in BMC International Health and Human Rights

Reference: BMC International Health and Human Rights 5, 6 (2005)


'"/>

Source:SciDev.Net


Related biology news :

1. Novel live reporting system to track cells
2. Biased reporting found in cancer prognostic studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and Mr. ... the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer said," ... and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move forward ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company that ... North America , today announced a Series B ... of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s ... to transform population health activities through the collection and ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of Big Data management ... and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker and solution demos ... Lake is also a finalist for the Best of Show award. , James LaPointe, ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... today that it is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for ... May 22-25. , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... Proof-of-Concept Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are ... and Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... , ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... and former CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit ... his position at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: