Case Study: Ethics and HIV Ethical Considerations and Limitations

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Ethics and HIV

Ethical considerations and limitations of research design

The issue of HIV and AIDS is a highly stigmatized problem and consequently there are multiple layers of ethical challenges when addressing such an issue. These challenges are not always easy to overcome within the research process, and often result from the amalgam of variables that coalesce to influence the transmission and treatment of the disease. Additionally, because the foundation of ethics is doing no harm, them all procedures associated with the study must ensure that harm does not come to the participants involved in the research.

The first ethical concern is securing informed consent. Informed consent is a pillar of ethical research. The participant must be able to engage in the study without coercion and their participation must be secured within undue inducement. These elements come together in the form of informed consent. This study considers behavioral risks among an African-American population, which may be considered to have less power to engage volitionally in the study. Consequently, steps must be taken to ensure that the women understand the possible risks associated with participation as well as the value of their contribution to the overall understanding of the phenomenon.

The associated stigma with HIV and AIDS requires high levels of confidentiality. Persons who are either HIV positive or have AIDS are often stigmatized by their communities. The correlation between the disease and other risky behaviors such as drug use and prostitution requires that the data be treated with the utmost confidentiality. This is particularly important for African-American communities since many African-American women may belong to some religious and moral community. These communities often respond negatively to the knowledge that an individual is either HIV positive or has… [END OF PREVIEW]

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