Ever Wonder What it's Like to Participate in a Research Study?
By HPTN Communications
We sat down with JT Williams, a participant in HPTN 083 and research engagement coordinator, to learn more about his experience as a study volunteer.
|Q: What was the most challenging part? The easiest part?|
|A: The most challenging part was getting used to the injections and sharing my medical history. It’s odd, especially since I ask people those questions for a living. It always felt different when I was navigating the space for myself. It made me feel vulnerable, but then it got easier. I had a healthcare team that helped me view my health as an investment for research and myself. For the team to come back and ask me follow-up questions about topics we discussed in prior visits made me feel like I was not just heard but also seen and valued.|
|Q: What advice would you give someone interested in volunteering for HIV prevention research?|
|A: Do your homework. Look up credible resources. Talk with the investigators. Talk with your doctor or healthcare providers about the opportunity. Get to know what the objectives are and get to understand the people around the cause.|
|Q: How did participating in the study shape your perspective on the effort to end the HIV epidemic?|
|A: It helped me to understand that my life is an experience worth sharing. I have the tools and resources to empower myself and change the world. My transparency in doing studies has motivated other clients and community members to try research studies. I love that we are changing the narrative of research studies. We have respect and acknowledgment of the past, but we are trailblazing a new narrative of hope, health, and representation. All it takes is one person to be the spark that will ignite change.|
|Q: What was your biggest takeaway from participating in HIV prevention research?|
|A: I loved the opportunity to be part of something that outlives me. I am part of history and have always encouraged my kids and clients to do something that will impact the world. Even if no one knows your name, do it to improve the world.|