New Study for Persons with HIV - Brief Article

Author: Elaine Kierl Gangel
Date: March 15, 2002

About 6,000 persons eventually will be enrolled in a long-term study to evaluate which of two common HIV treatment strategies is better. The study, titled "Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapies" (SMART), is being funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

During the first year of the expected seven-year trial, 1,000 participants who are HIV-infected will be enrolled and assigned to a "go-slow" or "hit-hard-early" treatment regimen. The latter strategy is currently recommended in guidelines used by many U.S. physicians. If favorable outcomes are detected after the first year of the study, 5,000 more participants will be enrolled during the following three years.

In contrast to previously conducted AIDS treatment trials, the SMART trial will be the first to study the efficacy and toxicity of HIV therapies over an extended time period. It will also measure the clinical progression of the disease (i.e., progression to full-blown disease or death) rather than indirect indicators (i.e., amount of virus). In an effort to extract findings that will apply to a broad range of patients, the enrollment criteria will include patients across the spectrum from teens to adults.

Information about the SMART trial is available at www.clinicaltrials. gov (search term: "smart"). n

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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