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Incentives, Payment, Ethics, Research participation, HIV

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Little is known about how payment affects individuals' decisions to participate in HIV research. Using data from a U.S. survey of people living with HIV (N = 292), we examined potential research participants’ attitudes toward payment, perceived study risk based on payment amount, and preferred payment forms, and how these factors vary by sociodemographic characteristics. Most respondents agreed people should be paid for HIV research participation (96%) and said payment would shape their research participation decisions (80%). Men, less formally educated individuals, and members of some minoritized racial-ethnic groups were less likely to be willing to participate in research without payment. Higher payment was associated with higher perceived study risks, while preferences for form of payment varied by age, gender, education, race-ethnicity, and census region of residence. Findings suggest payment may influence prospective research participants’ risk–benefit calculus and participation, and that a one-size-fits-all approach to payment could differentially influence participation among distinct sociodemographic groups.

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AIDS and Behavior, in press

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