HIV Research in the Third world Countries

HIV virus can be transmitted from one person to another through a series of ways. One of these ways is the vertical transmission which includes the mother to the infant which mainly occurs during birth or breastfeeding. There are better methods that have been invented, that can reduce the percentage of new cases of transmission. However, researchers are still doing some new research to determine less expensive methods. The research is being carried out in the developing countries putting in some ethical issues that the sponsoring countries would not allow their citizens to be exposed to. The issue of research of the virus HIV, have been discussed by two different articles which have different ways of looking at it and also in some cases they have shown some similarities regarding the same. This article will tend to look at the few similarities and differences displayed in these two journals.

The journal by Baruch Brody tries to explain the issues regarding ethics involved in human subjects. This article explains that there are some issues involved when testing clinical solutions. These issues are not the same when it comes to subjects from the developed countries and subjects from the developing or Third World countries. The article looks at the vertical transmission of HIV which is from mother to child. Baruch states that there are well-known treatments, which includes the placebo technique which is known to reduce the rate of transmission from twenty-five percent to eight percent (Brody, 2002). However, most pregnant women from the developing countries do not receive this treatment. This is because it is said to be an expensive method and the third world cannot afford it. As a result, the researchers conducted researches on people which would result in less expensive regimes. The journal finally emphasizes on making sure that all ethical standards are followed not only in the developed countries but also in the developing countries (Brody, 2002). This is seen by the fact that sponsors of this research are encouraged to enforce the ethical standards.

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The article, “The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World” is another article that is almost similar to the article by Baruch. This article emphasizes more on the ethical standards that are supposed to be followed and whether they are followed. Similarly to the article by Baruch, this article is also based on the vertical transfer of HIV. This is from mother to child during birth. It also looks at the placebo technique (Angell, 1997). Unlike the article by Baruch, this article takes us back to an era when there was an investigation of untreated syphilis. The sad thing about this area is that those who were the research subjects were the African American men. They did not receive the best-known medication just because they were test subjects and also from the third is said that a physician said that they would not have received any treatment anyway. The article also sees research carried in the developing countries as an attractive (Angell, 1997). This is because the codes that are required to be optimized are not so much taken into considerations in the third world.

Ways in which the articles agree

These two articles have some similarities. To begin with, the articles are concerned with the use of the best methods to prevent the vertical transmission of HIV. This is the transmission that occurs from mother to infant during birth (Brody, 2002). Secondly, these two articles agree on that there a code of ethics that should be followed when it comes to using human beings as test subjects for any clinical research. This is well seen in that the two articles, at one time or the other mention about the ethical standards that should be implemented and also mention that sponsors of these researches should enforce these ethical standards. 

These articles also agree on the fact that most of the researches are carried out in the third world. These researches carried out here do not always follow the set code of ethics. This is because it is said that it is not in all cases that pregnant women receive the best treatment known. This is because there are people who are trying to look for less expensive treatment methods. In most cases, there are the performing of experiments on infants who have no idea that they are being implemented on. This is because, when pregnant HIV positive mothers are not given the right treatment, the transmission will occur which will make the infant positive also (Angell, 1997). This is way much against the ethical rules which are displayed by the WHO.


The major differences in the two articles come in where the article by Marcia mentions more about the syphilis case among the African American men who were not given the right treatments even when it was produced. The other difference is that the article by Baruch has more statistical data which explains the rate of reduction of HIV infections. This article also has the mention of more treatment regimes (Brody, 2002). There is the Thai CDC trial which cuts the rate of transmission by half and also the PETRA trial which has not been mentioned in the article by Marcia.

More persuasive article

In my understanding of the two articles, it is difficult to make a rational judgment on which article is more persuasive and more understood. This is because the two article uses different methods of persuasion. The article by Baruch uses more statistical data which makes it better understood and the article by Marcia takes us back in history and shows us some of the similar instances that have ever occurred. Also, Baruch, in his article explains other clinical trials and also uses simpler language that is easily understood by a layman who would be interested to read the article. As a result, it leads to my conclusion that the article “Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials in Developing Countries” by Baruch Brody, is more persuasive and also it becomes easy to understand and fun to read over and over again. It also gives an insight into what happens in the third world countries and thus helps in better understanding of why there are very high percentages of HIV cases in these countries.

In a nutshell, the case of vertical transmission of HIV is a very important case. This is because the victim is an infant who did not participate in any act to get exposed to contracting the virus. As a result, proper care should be taken to make sure that no matter what the case is, the infant will not be exposed to the virus. Moreover, performing clinical tests on human individuals is something that should follow the set standards by the WHO.


Brody, Baruch A. “Ethical issues in clinical trials in developing countries.” Statistics in medicine 21.19 (2002): 2853-2858.

Angell, Marcia. “The ethics of clinical research in the Third World.” New England journal of medicine 337.12 (1997): 847-9.

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