Community preparedness for HIV vaccine trials in the Democratic Republic of Congo

John Olin, Jacques Kokolamami, Francois B. Lepira, Kashamuka Mwandagalirwa, Bavon Mupenda, Michel Lubaki Ndongala, Suzanne Maman, Robert Bollinger, Jean Nachega, John Mokili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper reports on an assessment of community preparedness for HIV vaccine trials in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Formative research was conducted in the capital city of Kinshasa during the period October 2003 to March 2004 to answer questions pertinent to planning trials of a preventive HIV vaccine and to identify related issues. Twenty-seven in-depth interviews and two focus groups were held with potential trial participants and community leaders. Data was collected on the subjects of vaccines, HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour, and an HIV vaccine. The study also sought to identify factors that motivate a person to volunteer for a vaccine trial or which are disincentives to participation, along with preparedness of the larger community for trials. Personal concerns for health and for the impact of the epidemic on families and country were common motivations for participation. The danger of an experimental vaccine and the stigma of a positive HIV antibody test as the result of vaccination are major concerns and disincentives. The health, educational, and local non-governmental sectors are identified as having important roles to play in assuring preparedness for trials, although significant challenges exist to achieving community preparedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-544
Number of pages16
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trials
  • Community preparedness
  • Stigma
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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