ACRIA is assuming operation of TrialSearch, the national online database of enrolling HIV clinical trails. TrialSearch has been part of the University of California San Francisco's (UCSF) HIV InSite web site since 1997. Earlier this year, UCSF decided to reorient the focus of HIV InSite to primarily offer information on emerging HIV healthcare issues from an international perspective. TrialSearch has subsequently been removed from their service, and a new feature called TrialScope has taken its place to list HIV research sites worldwide.
UCSF did not want to abandon TrialSearch altogether. They've asked ACRIA to continue this service because our two organizations have collaborated on gathering HIV clinical trial information and because we already operate an online clinical trials directory for the New York State area. ACRIA agreed to develop the larger national database at www.acria.org within the next several months.
ACRIA would like to thank UCSF and Mike Donnelly for their past work with us on disseminating vital HIV clinical trials information and for their vote of confidence as we expand our efforts in this area.
ACRIA is pleased to announce the availability of the Research Policy Advisory Committee's (ResPAC) findings from their strategic planning meetings in 2002. The publication, HIV/AIDS Research Priorities for New York State: Epidemiology, Behavioral Sciences and Clinical, offers a unique perspective on the most urgent and high priority needs for studies within these various disciplines. ACRIA presented the ResPAC findings at the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute in January. Copies of the ResPAC report can be obtained by calling Salone Howard in ACRIA's Research Department at (212) 924-3934 x 105 or by downloading the document at www.acria.org.
ACRIA has recently created a position to foster greater understanding of HIV clinical trials within underserved communities in New York City.
It is widely recognized that people of color and women are less likely than other populations to learn about the clinical trials process or about opportunities to access experimental therapies. The fact that underserved communities are largely absent from HIV clinical trials is particularly disturbing since it is these individuals who are now most directly affected by HIV and AIDS. ACRIA's new employee will address this problem by speaking to clients and staff of community-based organizations in all boroughs of New York City about the risks and benefits of participating in clinical research. Interestingly, the most responsive individuals at our presentations have so far been people living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are not only learning for the first time that experimental therapies exist, but that they are not just accessible to those who are well connected to the healthcare establishment.
If you or your agency are interested in learning about the clinical trials process and new therapies, please call Philana Rowell in the Research Department at (212) 924-3934 x125 to schedule an appointment.
ACRIA brought our national technical assistance (TA) service to Baltimore, Maryland in October. The four-day intensive training helped over thirty community members and staff from seventeen area agencies develop the skills and knowledge to provide accurate and up-to-date HIV treatment information within their communities. ACRIA's TA program has grown tremendously since its inaugural trip to San Diego in 2000. The training in Baltimore represented our second new TA site in 2002, and we are pleased to report that this was our most successful endeavor of its kind to date. Virtually every participant enthusiastically embraced ACRIA's approach to health education for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Our next TA session will be held in Madison, Wisconsin during the Spring of 2003. ACRIA's goal in this area will again be to expand capacity of agencies to explain HIV treatment issues and to foster greater collaboration among local non-profits to support the health information needs of their clients. ACRIA would like to thank Ortho Biotech for its generous grants to help pay for the national TA program.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.