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How does our support for clinical trials reduce new HIV infections and improve care for young people?

Supporting the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) for HIV/AIDS Interventions

While the rates of new HIV infections have decreased among persons aged 13-24, progress has been uneven with limited improvement in specific regions and populations.

For the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Westat serves as the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) Operations and Collaborations Center (OCC), which develops and conducts innovative behavioral, community-based, translational, therapeutic, microbicidal, and vaccine trials in youth ages 13-24 at risk for HIV and living with HIV, with a focus on the inclusion of minors.

Westat will facilitate transdisciplinary research through organizational leadership and collaboration support for the ATN-specific agenda that addresses substantial and disproportionate gaps in health outcomes across the HIV prevention and care continuum for youth. Westat is providing efficient communication and coordination of efforts across research projects and institutions; supporting study accrual and implementation, training, quality assurance (QA) procedures; and contributing innovative approaches in automating systems, enhancing recruitment methods, and creating a more robust process for monitoring metrics.

The OCC is the hub of 9 site consortiums that work within the ATN structure to implement studies that address the ATN scientific priority areas across the HIV prevention and treatment continuum through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention approaches. Site consortiums will engage with community partners to maximize their access to at-risk adolescents and young adults for participation in ATN research. The sites are as follows:

  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • Children’s National Hospital System, Washington, DC
  • Cook County Health System, Chicago, IL
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
  • The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
  • Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
  • University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, FL

The results of ATN studies have guided the nation’s scientific agenda, helped lower the risk of adolescents and young adults becoming infected with HIV, helped newly diagnosed young adults get care, and improved the treatment of HIV-positive adolescents and young adults. The innovations to the study plan work toward the goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

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