Overcoming Ethical Challenges to Engaging Men Who Have Sex with Women in HIV Research

Hussain A. Zaidi, Mxolisi Mathenjwa, Nzwakie Mosery, Kasey O’Neil, Pooja Chitneni, Christina Psaros, Hazar Khidir, Steven A. Safren, David R. Bangsberg, Sadath A. Sayeed, Jennifer A. Smit, Lynn T. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Men who have sex with women are understudied in HIV research despite the extent to which they experience HIV-related mortality and contribute to the epidemic among women. During our experience of developing and piloting an HIV prevention intervention for men living with HIV in South Africa, and planning to have a child with an HIV-negative woman, ethical questions were posed regarding implementation of a male-centered intervention that did not require female partner participation. Two overarching ethical issues were the potential for (1) compromising women's reproductive and sexual autonomy and (2) increasing HIV-acquisition risks for the woman because the intervention efficacy was unknown. We describe here how these concerns were addressed to facilitate development of a male-centered HIV-prevention intervention. We hope this process manuscript will support researchers, clinicians, and reviewers to engage men who have sex with women in HIV prevention and care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4055-4060
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Couples
  • Engaging men
  • Ethics
  • HIV
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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