Women remain underrepresented in HIV research. The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) 5366 study was the first HIV cure-related trial conducted exclusively in women. Our multidisciplinary team integrated participant-centered reports into the ACTG 5366 protocol to elicit their perspectives. We nested mixed-methods surveys at the enrollment and final study visits to assess ACTG 5366 participants' perceptions and experiences. Of 31 participants enrolled in the ACTG 5366, 29 study agreed to complete the entry questionnaire and 27 completed the exit survey. The majority of study participants were nonwhite. We identified societal and personal motivators for participation, understanding of risks and benefits, and minor misconceptions among some trial participants. Stigma was pervasive for several women who joined the study, and served as a motivator for study participation. Reimbursements to defray costs of study participation were reported to facilitate involvement in the trial by about one-third of participants. Almost all respondents reported positive experiences participating in the ACTG 5366 trial. The ACTG 5366 study showed that it is possible to recruit and retain women in HIV cure-related research and to embed participant-centered outcomes at strategic time points during the study. The findings could help in the design, implementation, recruitment, and retention of women in HIV cure-related research and highlight the value of assessing psychosocial factors in HIV cure-related research participation.
Keywords: HIV cure-related research; behavioral sciences; social sciences; taxomifen; vorinostat; women living with HIV.