Women Prefer HIV Trials They Discover Through Peers

March 16, 2017
Philip Ward

Philip Ward is ACT's European editor, phone +44 1244 538583, philipward1@btconnect.com

Women are often underrepresented in HIV clinical trials, but they appear to prefer finding out about trials by means of peer-to-peer communication, according to new analysis.

Women are often underrepresented in HIV clinical trials, making it difficult to decipher the relevance of findings and whether they are applicable to all, but they appear to prefer finding out about trials by means of peer-to-peer communication, according to new analysis.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers Sara Looby, PhD, and Markella Zanni, MD, uncovered women’s preferred methods for learning about a clinical study were peer-to-peer communication (52% of those questioned), provider communication (46%), and video-based communication (39%). Women were most likely to take part to gain information (63%) and to help others (47%).

Coinciding with National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the U.S., which was March 10, they have published their data in the Taylor & Francis journal HIV Clinical Trials. The article shows how an evidence-based campaign, Follow YOUR Heart, is empowering older women with HIV to participate in a large-scale clinical trial, called REPRIEVE, which is aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease.

“Feedback from our community sample of women offered valuable perspectives on methods to help educate and engage women with HIV on research participation, making our Follow YOUR Heart campaign truly patient-centered,” the authors noted.

Looby is assistant professor of Medicine at HMS, a principal investigator in the Program of Nutritional Metabolism, and a nurse scientist at the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at MGH. Her research is focused on cardiometabolic and bone health among individuals aging with HIV, particularly women. She also has conducted studies related to menopause symptoms, and cardiovascular disease in relation to reproductive aging.

Zanni is a physician in the MGH Neuroendocrine Clinical Center, a faculty member in the Neuroendocrine Unit at MGH, and an assistant professor of medicine at HMS. She is a clinical researcher in the MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism and she studies metabolic and cardiovascular complications of inflammation.

Philip Ward is the European Editor for Applied Clinical Trials

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