Community participation and engagement are critical in the conduct of scientific research. There is mutual benefit to communities and researchers when both parties work together throughout the scientific research process. In the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), community participation occurs throughout the Network, community and site levels through various mechanisms that include representation on the Ethics Working Group, the Science Review Committee and protocol teams.
"Community involvement forms the pillar of our Network activities where, ultimately, we are guided by and accountable to the community served. We are at our best formulating research questions from community-driven priorities in partnership with community members. Community engagement – where community is empowered to bring its values, strengths, wisdom into every aspect of the research process from conception to dissemination – makes research possible. Nearly 40 years into the HIV epidemic, the fundamentals still apply – sound, scientific evidence is real, and in community we trust." (Melissa Turner, HPTN CWG Chair)