In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of HIV is high among young people and it is of the utmost importance that they be recruited into vaccination trials. Since community members influence the willingness of young people to participate in the vaccination trials, ascertaining their opinions is essential to overcoming barriers to such participation. Here, in seven focus group discussions we explored the views of 44 community members identified as someone they felt close by youth in Tanzania. The transcripts of these discussions were examined using content analysis. Our participants expressed that community members would be directly involved in the decisions of young people about whether or not to participate in an HIV vaccine trial. In general, they felt that community members would provide social support for youth during the trial and perceived that youth might have misconceptions concerning the vaccine and trial process. The participants pointed out structural factors such as substance use, poverty, stigma and unemployment that are barriers to participation. In conclusion, involvement of community members could be an integral part of the recruitment and retention of young people in HIV vaccine trials in Tanzania.