Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Ethics Behav. 2019 ; 29(8): 607–620. doi:10.1080/10508422.2018.1535976


This study documents how people who inject drugs (PWID) in rural Puerto Rico perceive payments for participating in HIV epidemiological studies. In-depth interviews were conducted among a subset (n = 40) of active PWID older than 18 years of age who had been previously enrolled in a much larger study (N = 360). Findings suggest that financial compensation was the main motivation for initially enrolling in the parent study. Then, as trust in the researchers developed, participants came to perceive compensation as part of a reciprocal exchange in which they assisted researchers by providing a trustful account of their experiences and researchers reciprocated with financial support.