The Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) is committed to a research agenda that is based on sound ethical principles, conducted at the highest level of scientific integrity and quality and is supported and informed by meaningful engagement with local communities. Indeed, HIV prevention clinical trials are more likely to succeed when stakeholders – be they government officials, service providers, community leaders, civil society, study participants or the community at large – have ownership and play a significant role in the process. Community and stakeholder engagement has no boundaries. It’s an ongoing process that begins even before a study is designed, continues throughout the conduct of the study. The MTN has long subscribed to the tenets referred to as Good Participatory Practices, guidelines developed jointly by UNAIDS and AVAC in 2011.
Community and stakeholder engagement is facilitated at many operational levels, including through MTN-affiliated Clinical Trials Units and Clinical Research Sites and their respective Community Advisory Boards; protocol teams, the MTN Community Working Group and the MTN Leadership and Operations Center.
At the MTN Leadership and Operations Center (LOC), the following individuals have primary responsibility for planning and managing community and/or stakeholder engagement
Community Engagement Program
Jonathan Lucas, Community Associate Director, MTN LOC (FHI 360)
Rhonda White, Senior Community Program Manager, MTN LOC (FHI 360)
MTN Community Working Group
Milly Katana, CWG Chair
Communications and External Relations
Lisa Rossi, Director, MTN LOC (University of Pittsburgh)