1/ proactive communication with support groups/representatives and club owners: this should have insight in expected vulnerabilities within the trial protocol so changes could be made. Also best preferred communication could have been discussed as these groups have experience in what are the topics that are usually “attacked”.
2/ proactive and regular open communication via social media and journals should have been foreseen providing all available information on the content and goal of the trial. Even if rumors are started, full information is available when needed and can be used to contradict the rumors.
3/ issue management plan should have been in place (tackling different items as marketing/advertisement around the club involved (and other places that are receiving MSM people), over how and to whom to escalate if a situation gets out of hand, to how to ensure physical safety of people coming to the club (“rescue plan with hospital/medics in the neighborhood), psychological and social support of people/providing contact person if things get out of hand and people are being stigmatized.
4/ forsee a network of legal support for people that are getting stigmatized and in trouble with legal department due to trial participation (can go from defense of the subject legal rights over avoiding unemployment due to participation and risk of insurance problems, …)