The Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study held discussions with community representatives in each of its 12 research areas from March to June 2018. These community dialogues took place in the four countries where ECHO is being conducted: Kenya, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), South Africa and Zambia. The dialogues were a response to the need for ongoing communication and understanding between researchers and community members as part of the ECHO Study’s commitment to Good Participatory Practice (GPP). The ECHO team convened the dialogues in collaboration with ECHO’s Global Community Advisory Group (GCAG), the International Community of Women with HIV (ICW) and AVAC through funding from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and AVAC. The purpose of the ECHO community dialogues was to strengthen working relationships between the clinical research sites and community stakeholders in preparation for study results dissemination.
The objectives were to:
- Provide an overview of the ECHO Study rationale, design and update to community stakeholders on the progress of the study including emerging issues on hormonal contraceptives and HIV risk acquisition
- Discuss possible outcome scenarios for ECHO and policy and programmatic implications for the field
- Brainstorm and solicit the community’s questions, interests and concerns – with the aim of these dialogues informing a responsive and pro-active study result dissemination strategy that takes community input into account in the preparation of message development around study results.
Author: Nomthandazo Mbandazayo, Wits RHI