Clinical Trials for HIV/AIDS: Research Programs That Support Public Health
Simply stated, a clinical trial is a research study conducted by a principal investigator—typically a medical doctor—and supported by a team of nurses and other professionals who may hold clinical research degrees. It’s also the fastest way to gather information about the safety and effectiveness of new medical approaches in the battle against diseases such as AIDS. HIV/AIDS clinical trials generally fall into one of three categories:1
- New HIV/AIDS medications or combination of medications
- New surgical procedures
- New uses for an existing medicine or piece of equipment
- New ways to change behaviors to improve health
According to the National Institutes of Health, some of the HIV/AIDS clinical trials underway include:1
- Studies of new medicines to prevent or treat HIV
- Studies of vaccines to prevent or treat HIV
- Studies of medicines to treat infections related to HIV
Naturally, clinical trials come with both benefits and risks for participants. A primary benefit is the degree to which the clinical research may help provide a more effective treatment—for example, a newer HIV/AIDS drug that delivers better results or carries fewer side effects—before it’s available on the market. Participants in clinical trials may also receive a stipend for their time and involvement. On the other hand, depending on the particular study and how it’s designed, all clinical trials carry natural risks, which is why informed consent is so critical.
While most HIV/AIDS clinical trial participants carry the HIV virus, sometimes a study calls for participants who do not. Depending on the specific study design, participants may need to meet other criteria to join a trial, including, age, gender, other medical conditions, and length of time since diagnosis.
Despite enormous progress, the battle against HIV/AIDS is not over. Clinical research plays an essential role in public health since it is through clinical trials that make scientific advances that help the greater good. If you’re interested in learning more about public health and issues such as HIV/AIDS and the importance of clinical trials, you may wish to consider enrolling in a public health degree. Walden University a number of online degree programs in public health at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level that are designed to fit your busy lifestyle. Choose from a Graduate Certificate in Public Health, BS in Public Health, Master of Public Health, Doctor of Public Health, and a PhD in Public Health.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a wide range of online public health degrees. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
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