SGM youth HIV prevention research conducted by Drs. Brian Mustanski and Kathryn Macapagal et al. was recently featured in the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities quarterly newsletter. In the article, Dr. Mustanski spoke of parental permission for youth research participation as being a barrier facing important HIV research today. Citing findings from ASAP!, an ISGMH study with the goal of generating empirical data and tools to help investigators and IRBs make better decisions about including SGM adolescents in research, Dr. Mustanski explained that many SGM adolescents are not out to their parents, making it difficult for them to secure parental permission for participation in research.
ASAP! researchers found that SGM adolescent participants were capable of understanding potential risks and outcomes associated with hypothetical studies. Additionally, the participants largely reported a hesitancy to have parents involved with their participation in research. “They said there was no way to do the study if they had to get their parents’ permission. It would risk too much,” says Dr. Mustanski. Many of these SGM adolescent participants were already sexually active and had experience independently accessing healthcare.
Dr. Mustanski concludes, “the only way that we’re going to turn the tide on this growing epidemic is research.” Read the full NIMHD article here.