After a long development process, ACRIA has recently inaugurated TrialSearch@acria.org. TrialSearch offers information on enrolling HIV clinical research across the country. The database presently covers the largest states nationwide and will soon add trials in smaller states as well. Ultimately, TrialSearch will be the most comprehensive listing of currently enrolling HIV clinical studies available through any source. TrialSearch includes information about government and pharmaceutical industry sponsored research as well as innovative independent protocols being conducted by HIV researchers. ACRIA's commitment is to regularly update TrialSearch so that users always have accurate information on experimental HIV therapies that offer their greatest chance of health stability. Visit www.acria.org to use this new resource.
In mid-2003, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute asked ACRIA to join a coalition of four partners on an application to create the national curriculum on viral hepatitis prevention and treatment for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This contract was subsequently awarded to the AIDS Institute, and ACRIA has in turn begun work to help establish a national model for training care providers on these complex health issues. ACRIA's role is to collaborate with the other program partners on assessing how existing hepatitis education curriculums can be adapted for national use, and we will also be a lead partner in conducting pilot trainings of the new curriculum for organizations outside of New York State in years two and three of the program.
Data analysis was recently completed on a study of cognitive function in people with HIV who are between 40-60 years old. Before the advent of combination therapy for HIV, dementia affected 20% of people with HIV. But ACRIA's study found that socioeconomic status is now the largest factor affecting cognitive functioning. The study underlines the need to address the fact that people with HIV today are often from disadvantaged socioeconomic environments. The income, housing, education, nutrition and social conditions of this group may well have a greater impact on cognitive function than HIV or HAART.
The study is one of the few to assess older adults with HIV/AIDS and, importantly, had a control group that was not HIV positive. This study of over 100 people has been submitted for presentation to the 15th International Conference on AIDS in Bangkok and at the first symposium on HIV/AIDS at the Gerontological Society of America meeting in Washington this fall.
In April 2004, ACRIA will initiate a study with the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, in collaboration with Indiana University. This Web-based study will assess the experiences and attitudes of nurses who provide care to people with HIV. It will also measure the level of stigma this group of professionals encounters. Anyone interested in the survey can visit ACRIA's Web site to participate.
Data from ACRIA's first Web-based study is being analyzed and will be presented at the American Public Health Association Conference in November 2004. Information was collected from HIV/AIDS service providers in 48 states, and almost 30% reported frequent unease resulting from others' perceptions of their HIV serostatus and sexual orientation. Stigma was higher among providers identifying as heterosexual, and there were significant differences in the degree of stigma based on the types of clients served. Further data analyses are being performed.
ACRIA's distribution of our topic-specific health education brochures for community-based organizations nationwide surpassed 300,000 copies in February 2004. This is a remarkable achievement for our agency, particularly since every single one of these publications has been provided without cost upon request to over 1,000 non-profits across the United States. ACRIA is a relatively small non-profit, and we are making an extraordinary financial commitment to help a great many other agencies acquire written resources that explain relevant health information to people with HIV.
ACRIA began providing topic-specific brochures in 1999. Clinical Trials Explained, Managing Drug Side Effects, Treatment Issues for Women and Understanding Your Lab Results have proven to be valued resources for a great many individuals and organizations. Hopefully, these publications and our newest brochure, Viral Hepatitis and HIV, will continue to play a useful role in the lives of a great many individuals.
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.