Wolf Participates in HIV Workshop in the Netherlands

Center director, Leslie Wolf, participated in a day-long workshop that preceded the international HIV/AIDS conference in Amsterdam to provide expert feedback on recommendations for ethically involving pregnant women in HIV/AIDS research.

Leslie E. Wolf
Distinguished University Professor
Director, Center of Law, Health & Society

Clinical research typically excludes pregnant women for ethical and legal concerns. However, such exclusion results in little evidence to guide treatment of HIV infected women. The workshop is part of the National Institutes of Health-funded Pregnancy + HIV/AIDS Seeking Equitable Study (PHASES)  project, led by Anne Lyerly, University of North Carolina Center for Bioethics, Ruth Faden, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and Maggie Little, Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics. The projects seeks ethical solutions to advance research at the intersection of women’s reproduction and HIV prevention, treatment, and management.

The investigators drafted recommendations following consultation with experts and interviews and focus groups with pregnant or recently pregnant women at-risk for or infected with HIV in the US and Malawi. The workshop gathered international, interdisciplinary experts to ensure those recommendation are implementable.

“Guidance on the ethical inclusion of pregnant women in research is desperately needed,” Wolf said. “Without it, physicians are often reluctant to treat pregnant women or must make guesses on appropriate treatment, which poses other risks.”

Wolf became a member of the expert working group this year and participated in a two-day workshop at the University of North Carolina in May. The final recommendations are expected this year.