Community mobilization for HIV prevention and treatment research in sub-Saharan Africa: process, strategies, and researchers' reflections
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Community mobilization (CM) can assist in HIV research on prevention and disease management, as it emphasizes social factors linked to health risk behavior, potentially reaches more people, and enables sustainability in interventions. However, CM strategies remain underdeveloped in HIV research reporting. This article offers a CM framework for HIV research, developed and used over 15 years in Sweetwaters, Vulindlela, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Its four phases, referred to as "range", "recognize", "recruit", and retain/sustain, offer practical strategies that foreground the value of widespread community involvement to improve HIV research on prevention and care uptake in a marginalized, sub-Saharan context.