Photovoice as a community-based participatory research method among women living with HIV/AIDS: ethical opportunities and challenges

J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2012 Oct;7(4):34-43. doi: 10.1525/jer.2012.7.4.34.


Photovoice is a method in which participants use photography to identify, express, and disseminate their experiences. We conducted photovoice projects with women living with HIV/AIDS (N=21) to explore opportunities and challenges associated with the method. Photovoice provided a means to achieve two key principles of ethical public health practice: It gives participants opportunities to define their health priorities, and facilitates participant empowerment. Ethical challenges that were encountered related to exposing, through photographs, one's identity as living with HIV/AIDS, illicit activities, and other people. We discuss lessons learned for future practice to maximize the ethical opportunities and manage the challenges associated with using photovoice as an HIV-related CBPR strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / ethics*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods
  • Confidentiality / ethics*
  • Disclosure / ethics
  • Ethics, Research*
  • Female
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography / ethics*
  • Photography / methods
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Research
  • Social Values
  • Women
  • Young Adult