Logo Medical Science Monitor

Call: +1.631.470.9640
Closed: National Holiday

Contact Us

Logo Medical Science Monitor Logo Medical Science Monitor Logo Medical Science Monitor

09 September 2002

AIDS research in developing countries: do the ends justify the means?

Peter A. Clark

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(9): ED5-16 :: ID: 13257


Concrete ethical standards for human research are clearly stipulated in both international and national codes of ethics, and are meant to protect human subjects, especially the most vulnerable. A recent clinical study conducted from 1994 to 1997 by Dr. Thomas C, Quinn, M.D. has fueled the debate raging in the scientific community regarding the ethics of clinical AIDS research in developing countries. Quinn's conducted a community-based, randomized, controlled study of 15,127 rural Ugandans to determine whether intermittent antibiotic treatment to reduce the prevalence of other sexually transmitted diseases would also reduce the rate of HIV transmission. Subsequently, the study identified 415 couples in which one partner was HIV positive and one was initially HIV negative and followed them prospectively for up to 30 months. Researchers were not permitted to inform the seronegative partner of the HIV status of the other partner. As a result, 90 of the initially HIV negative partners (21.7%) seroconverted during a follow-up period of 30 months. To allow for research studies in developing countries that are not permitted in the United States appears to make the Third World equivalent to a 'research sweat shop'. Developing nations offer easy access to patients, reduced costs, and less stringent regulations. This appears to create a double standard for medical research that is both ethically and humanly unacceptable, especially when other viable option exist. To allow relativism to seep into the international and national ethical standards will open the door to an idea that condones the possible abuse of those least able to protect themselves. Researchers have an ethical responsibility to uphold the integrity of these ethical standards. Failure to do so today may have a devastating impact on humanity in the future.

Keywords: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome - diagnosis, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome - therapy, Anti-Bacterial Agents - pharmacology, Codes of Ethics, Developing Countries, Ethical Relativism, Ethical Theory, Ethics, Ethics, Medical, Ethics, Professional, HIV Seropositivity, Human Experimentation, Sexually Transmitted Diseases - drug therapy

Add Comment 0 Comments

757 1


01 May 2023 : Editorial  

Editorial: Twenty Years On from Sequencing the Human Genome, Personalized/Precision Oncology Prepares to Meet the Challenges of Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy

Dinah V. Parums
Science Editor, Medical Science Monitor, International Scientific Information, Inc., Melville, NY, USA

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.940911

Med Sci Monit 2023; 29:e940911

In Press

28 May 2023 : Database Analysis  

Scientometric and Visualized Analysis of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 1988-2021

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.938715  

25 May 2023 : Database Analysis  

The COVID-19 Crisis and the Incidence of Alcohol-Related Deaths in Poland

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.940904  

25 May 2023 : Review article  

A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies in Support of the Role of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug...

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.940635  

25 May 2023 : Clinical Research  

Periapical Lesions and Missed Canals in Endodontically Treated Teeth: A Cone-Beam Computed Tomographic Stud...

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.940533  

Most Viewed Current Articles

13 Nov 2021 : Clinical Research  

Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccination and Its Associated Factors Among Cancer Patients Attending the Oncology ...

DOI :10.12659/MSM.932788

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e932788

30 Dec 2021 : Clinical Research  

Retrospective Study of Outcomes and Hospitalization Rates of Patients in Italy with a Confirmed Diagnosis o...

DOI :10.12659/MSM.935379

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e935379

08 Mar 2022 : Review article  

A Review of the Potential Roles of Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Pharmacological Approaches for the Man...

DOI :10.12659/MSM.936292

Med Sci Monit 2022; 28:e936292

01 Jan 2022 : Editorial  

Editorial: Current Status of Oral Antiviral Drug Treatments for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Non-Hospitalized Pa...

DOI :10.12659/MSM.935952

Med Sci Monit 2022; 28:e935952

Your Privacy

We use cookies to ensure the functionality of our website, to personalize content and advertising, to provide social media features, and to analyze our traffic. If you allow us to do so, we also inform our social media, advertising and analysis partners about your use of our website, You can decise for yourself which categories you you want to deny or allow. Please note that based on your settings not all functionalities of the site are available. View our privacy policy.

Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750