There are several different types of clinical trials for HIV positive participants. These study categories are explained below. Click on a category to learn more:
These studies are for participants who have never taken any medication to treat their HIV infection.
These studies are for people who are/have been on HIV medication and are suppressed. To be suppressed means that you have been taking HIV medication that will keep your viral load (number of virus copies in your body) at less than 50 copies/mL of blood.
These studies are for people who are/have been on HIV medication but the regimens have failed. Treatment failure is when the medication no longer works. We can tell if the medication is not working if your HIV RNA (viral load) does not decrease or increases while on medication. With treatment failure, your CD4 cells may also start to fall. A regimen can fail if virus you are infected with is already resistant to that drug. Failure can also occur if you do not take your medication on a consistent basis. Not following a medication schedule gives the virus an opportunity to become resistant to the medications.
These studies look specifically at how to treat women with HIV including how to treat women who are or would like to get pregnant.
Pharmacokinetics is the study of the effect of the body on drugs. This is important for understanding how the medication is processed in the body. These studies are used to establish the correct dose of medication, to see how the body processes the drug, and how the drug affects people of different genders and races. Pharmacokinetic studies also look at drug concentration in other compartments such as semen or saliva.
There are many health complications associated with HIV that require additional treatment and thus additional research. Examples of such complications are:
o Neurological: Complications of the nervous system including brain functions
o Opportunistic Infections: Diseases that target people with poor immune systems
o Metabolic: Complications that raise the risk of such things as body shape changes, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes