An exploratory study of fishing communities in Uganda to determine suitability as candidate populations for HIV-prevention trials

Study Status:
Two fishing communities along the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala and Wakiso districts, Uganda

Study Summary:
Promising HIV vaccine products must be tried in appropriate populations if their efficacy is to be known, thus there is a need to identify and prepare different populations, as well as to learn more about targeting mobile and difficult to reach groups, for future large scale vaccine trials. Fisherfolk comprise an important population considered at risk to HIV in Uganda and elsewhere in developing countries. This study sought to better understand the social and behavioral factors that might put fishing communities at risk for HIV infection including occupation, mobility patterns, sexual and social networks and sexual activity, and to identify factors that promote or hinder uptake of VCT, HIV treatment and care and HIV research. Findings suggest that HIV/AIDS is a significant problem in these fishing communities, and that while prevention services are limited, there was great demand and response for VCT services. Despite challenges, a conclusion can be drawn that these communities are suitable for an HIV vaccine trial.