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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 189645, 6 pages
Review Article

Ethical Issues in mHealth Research Involving Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse

1Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
2University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1685 Highland Avenue MFCB 5220, Madison, WI 53705-2281, USA
3Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, 1809 Ashland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 12 July 2013; Accepted 24 August 2013

Academic Editor: Curt Beckwith

Copyright © 2013 Alain B. Labrique et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We aim to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue among investigators and research ethics committees regarding ethical issues that arise specifically in the design and conduct of mHealth research involving persons living with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. Following a brief background discussion of mHealth research in general, we offer a case example to illustrate the characteristics of mHealth research involving people living with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. With reference to a well-established systematic general ethical framework for biomedical research with human participants, we identify a range of ethical issues that have particular salience for the protection of participants in mHealth research on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.