Parents' Perspectives About Adolescent Boys' Involvement in Biomedical HIV Prevention Research

Arch Sex Behav. 2018 Oct;47(7):1923-1935. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-1035-0. Epub 2017 Sep 5.


Research on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among adolescents at high risk for HIV is urgently needed, and parents' perspectives on these studies are essential for guiding the responsible conduct of adolescent PrEP research. We conducted interviews with 30 parents of adolescent boys (50% known/presumed heterosexual; 50% sexual minority) to understand their views of research risks and benefits and parental permission regarding their son's involvement in a hypothetical PrEP adherence trial. Parents identified several health and educational benefits of the study and expressed that waiving parental permission would overcome barriers to accessing PrEP, particularly for youth who may benefit most. Among their concerns were medication non-adherence and risk compensation. Parents provided suggestions to facilitate informed, rational, and voluntary participation decisions and protect youth's safety if parental permission was waived. These findings can inform ways to increase parental trust in PrEP research and create adequate protections for adolescent participants.

Keywords: Adolescents; HIV prevention; Men who have sex with men; Parents; Pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ethics, Research
  • Gender Identity
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parental Consent*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis / ethics*
  • Research Design
  • Sexual Behavior