Key points of HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials

  • Clinical trials are research done for HIV/AIDS to look at new ways to prevent, detect, and/or treat HIV/AIDS. They are the fast way to see if a new medical treatment is safe and effective in people.
  • Before someone enrolls in a clinical trial for HIV/AIDS they have the possible risks explained to them so they can make an informed decision as to whether to participate or not.
  • Some clinical trials only enroll people who are already infected with HIV/AIDS other only enroll those who are not infected.
  • Examples of trials under way include studies of new medicines strictly for HIV itself, studies of vaccines to prevent HIV, and studies of medicines to treat other infections related to HIV.

What is an HIV/AIDS clinical trial?

All the medications used to treat HIV/AIDS in the US were first studied in clinical trials and tests. HIV/AIDS trials help researchers develop better ways to prevent, treat, or detect HIV/AIDS.

Examples include:

  • Studies for new medications to treat HIV/AIDS
  • Studies for vaccines for HIV/AIDS
  • Studies for medications to treat related infections of HIV/AIDS

Who can participate in HIV/AIDS clinical trials?

It depends on the study, some only enroll those who are infected some include those who are not infected, other factors  in participation in ad HIV/AIDS clinical trial include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • A persons HIV treatment history
  • Other medical conditions that the volunteer may or may not have

Are there benefits to participating?

For some it is the benefit of helping others that gives them the most satisfaction. Other may receive reimbursement for meals and/or gas money for traveling to the trial. Those who are HIV positive can benefit from using new medications that are not available on the FDA approved list of medications available. They also receive the care of doctors as well as any medical tests that are needed and the drugs being used in that particular trial free of charge. 

Are clinical trials for HIV/AIDS safe?

As with any clinical trials there are always risks involved in trying new experimental treatments. These risks can include unpleasant, serious, or even life threatening side effects. Unpleasant side effects can range from a rash to upset stomach, serious effects could cause hospitalization, and life threatening can be something like causing severe damage to kidneys or heart. 

People who participate are required to sign an informed consent form, meaning they have been informed of all the risks involved to them in order to participate in the trial program. 

Is my personal information safe if I decide to participate in a trial?

The privacy of volunteers who are participating in the HIV/AIDS trials is extremely important to everyone, and the informed consent form explains how your personal information is protected. 

How can I find HIV/AIDS trials to participate in?

The best way to find a trial that you can participate in is to use:

  • Contact the aidsinfo clinical trial search https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/clinical-trials. 
  • You can also call an aidsinfo health specialist 1-800-448-0440 
  • You can also email contactus@aidsinfo.nih.gov.