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March 12, 2012

Dear Advocate,

We are pleased to share with you a new set of tools that will help research teams and other stakeholders understand, implement and monitor the Good Participatory Practice (GPP) Guidelines for biomedical HIV prevention trials. The full set of tools can be found on AVAC’s GPP webpage at avac.org/gpp. This initial release includes:

GPP Training Curriculum
The training curriculum can be used by research staff members and advocates to introduce and build capacity on the GPP guidelines with a variety of audiences in a workshop setting. The curriculum contains individual, participatory training sessions that can be organized into several types of trainings.

GPP Overview PowerPoint Presentation
This presentation provides a standard overview of the second edition of the GPP guidelines. It outlines the history of GPP development, provides a detailed description of the structure and contents of the GPP guidelines second edition, and details issues around GPP implementation. The presentation may be used or adapted for a wide variety of audiences and settings.

GPP Trial Site Binder
The binder follows the structure of the GPP guidelines, providing a template to enable research teams to easily and effectively organize key documents and information that may be required for GPP compliance.

GPP Community Stakeholder Checklist
The checklist provides a set of questions intended to help stakeholders monitor a research team’s compliance with GPP, help determine what areas of participatory practice a research team is doing well and identify where the research team can improve.

Background
UNAIDS and AVAC released the second edition of the GPP guidelines in July 2011. This document, originally published in 2007, provides the first systematic framework for stakeholder engagement in research. Last December, US President Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, in a new official report on the protection of human subjects in research, cited the utility of GPP for promoting community engagement, which also recognized GPP beyond the HIV prevention research arena.

While the GPP guidelines provide a logical framework, actual implementation is not formulaic and will look different in every country, community and trial. The companion tools are designed to address this need—to transform the guidelines from paper to practice, taking into account the unique characteristics of both research environments and stakeholder concerns. Tools help users (1) understand the guidelines and their practical implications, (2) ease the process of implementation so as not to increase burden on research teams, and (3) provide mechanisms for monitoring GPP compliance, which can help measure its impact on research.

Development of the tools reflects field-based experience through collaborative rollout projects between AVAC and multiple partners. For example, through partnership with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa, GPP is being implemented as a core part of FACTS 001, a confirmatory efficacy trial of tenofovir gel. Also, last November, AVAC conducted an intensive training-of-trainers with over 40 research site staff and advocates from microbicide, PrEP and vaccine trial sites throughout Africa, which largely shaped tools development, in particular the Training Curriculum.

This new suite of publicly accessible tools will be added to and improved as GPP implementation continues around the globe. Tools have specifically been provided in adaptable format and AVAC encourages research teams, advocates, and other users to pick, choose, and change components most relevant to their individual GPP efforts. We very much look forward to hearing about users’ experiences with these tools and suggestions for development of additional tools as GPP moves forward!

Please contact us with any and all feedback at gpp@avac.org.

Best,
AVAC


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