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Development of an HIV vaccine attitudes scale to predict HIV vaccine acceptability among vulnerable populations: L.A. VOICES



Decade-long delays in successful implementation of Hepatitis B vaccines and ongoing obstacles in HPV vaccine roll-out suggest the importance of an implementation science approach to prepare for the effective translation of future HIV vaccines from clinical trials into routine practice. The objective of this study was to test HIV vaccine attitude items to develop reliable scales and to examine their association with HIV vaccine acceptability.


HIV vaccine attitude items were assessed as part of the L.A. VOICES survey, a large-scale study conducted among underserved residents of Los Angeles, to identify factors that may influence HIV vaccine acceptability. Participants (n=1225) were randomly selected from public STD clinics, needle exchange sites and Latino community clinics using three-stage, venue-based time space sampling.


Exploratory factor analysis across 20 items revealed four distinct factors - mistrust, HIV vaccine social concerns, risk compensation, and altruistic vaccination - with acceptable reliability coefficients for each subscale (Cronbach's α range 0.61-0.84). We found no significant differences in reliability by gender or by vaccine acceptability. Risk compensation (odds ratio (OR)=1.49; 95% CI=[1.18, 1.89]; p=0.001) and altruistic vaccination (OR=1.40; 95% CI=[1.14, 1.71]; p=0.001) were significantly and positively associated with HIV vaccine acceptability.


We identified four HIV vaccine attitude scales with sound internal reliability parameters. In the aftermath of the first candidate vaccine to demonstrate efficacy against HIV infection, these scales may be helpful in bridging expectable research-to-practice gaps in future HIV vaccine dissemination among populations at risk. As HIV vaccine trials progress in the United States and globally, these measures also may be useful as a tool to assess and facilitate effective responses to community concerns about HIV vaccine trials and to target interventions to support recruitment and mitigate risk compensation.

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