Part 8: Informed consent
Agencies may want to consider obtaining informed consent when enlisting recruiters into their programs. Also, because there may be local requirements related to informed consent for this type of service, agencies should discuss this issue with their respective health departments. If agencies decide to include informed consent for participation in the program, they should ensure that their process is in accordance with all applicable local and state requirements.
In general, forms used for informed consent should be written at no higher than an eighth-grade reading level and should include certain standardized information, such as the following:
- Brief description of the purpose of the program, who is conducting the program, what participation in the program involves, and what their role will be
- Brief description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the participant (i.e., recruiter)
- Brief description of potential benefits the program may have for the participant, those they recruit for CTR (i.e., network associates), and the community
- Statement regarding the extent to which confidentiality of records identifying the participant will be maintained
- Explanation of whom to contact for answers to questions about the program and whom to contact in the event issues arise with recruiting network associates
- Statement that participation in the program is voluntary, that not
participating will have no effect on the client receiving other
available services, and that the client can decide to discontinue
participation at any time without any loss of benefits to which she
or he would otherwise be entitled
Informed consent is also required for HIV CTR, although there are options for accomplishing this. Informed consent procedures for HIV CTR should be in accordance with local and state requirements and CDC guidelines. Informed consent procedures and forms should be reviewed and approved by the appropriate health department prior to use.
Protocols should clearly describe procedures for obtaining informed consent for HIV CTR.
If the agency plans to ask recruiters for informed consent for participation in the program, the protocol should also clearly describe procedures for doing this.
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