Community Advisory Board

Seattle Vaccine Trials Unit

Community Advisory Board

The Seattle Community Advisory Board (CAB) is a diverse coalition of study participants, advocates, professionals, people living with HIV/AIDS, people from communities affected by HIV and people like you that want to get involved with a multicultural approach to community engagement and education about HIV & AIDS.

“They [CAB] are people who represent the interests of the community to the researchers, help them understand and respect local customs, work for volunteers rights, create ways to teach volunteers what it takes to be in a trial, and listen closely to concerns expressed by neighbors, co-workers and family members. They also learn enough about the research to suggest how it can be done “right” for the place where they live.” said Steven Wakefield, HVTN.

Seattle CAB strives to create an environment where all members can learn about HIV clinical research through comprehensive education and training. You don’t have to be an expert in HIV/AIDS or any related field in order to join. Seattle CAB is an open coalition that welcomes all; and is governed by consensus decision-making principles:

  • INCLUSIVE: As many community voices as possible are involved in group discussions.
  • PARTICIPATORY: All are allowed a chance to contribute to the discussion.
  • COLLABORATIVE: The group constructs ideas with input from all interested members.
  • AGREEMENT SEEKING: The goal is to support all discussions with a concerted attempt to reach full agreement.
  • COOPERATIVE: Each member’s preferences should be voiced so that the group can incorporate all concerns into an emerging proposal.

"It is rewarding to know that I can have a positive effect on the volunteers and participants involved in this incredibly important research. Finding vaccines and prevention strategies that work for HIV/AIDS is, in my opinion, the most important research going on in the world today," said Miko, Seattle CAB Member.

Seattle VAccine Trials Unit CAB


The mission of the Seattle CAB is to serve as a voice for the community, which assures that HIV vaccine studies are responsive to the needs and concerns of diverse communities from which study participants are recruited; and strive to create an environment of trust and mutual understanding of research issues to ensure that cultural values of every participant are respected.

Objectives of the Seattle CAB

  • Communicate the concerns and needs of the community to researchers.
  • Educate the community on research methods, clinical studies, and HIV vaccine research.
  • Facilitate discussion between the community and researchers by collaborating with local community partners and organizations.
  • Advise staff on community engagement, education & recruitment strategies and dissemination of study findings.
  • Promotion of diversity in HIV clinical research.
  • Advocate for participants and the community by addressing such issues as participant’s safety & rights, research ethics, informed consent, and confidentiality.
  • Representation at Global CAB, network working groups, annual HIV Vaccine Trials Network conference, and at other levels where network representation is needed.

Download the Participant’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Seattle CAB convenes for a 2-hour meeting on the third Monday evening of each month, except December. To attend a CAB meeting, please contact James Lilly at (206) 667-1979 or