Restructuring NIAID's HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks

Content From: Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of the Division of AIDS, NIAIDPublished: June 10, 20102 min read


Over the next several weeks, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will post a series of entries here on related to planning for the future of NIAID’s HIV/AIDS clinical trial networks. The awards supporting the six current HIV/AIDS networks are set to expire in 2013 and 2014.

Building on the success of the current infrastructure, NIAID is looking to expand the scope of the network’s current activities to include the treatment and prevention of other infectious diseases of significance to people who are infected with HIV or are at risk for infection both domestically and globally, namely tuberculosis, hepatitis, and malaria. Additionally, we are looking for ways to increase collaboration across the networks, create transparent mechanisms for network leadership to solicit and support ideas from the research community, and develop a means for external researchers to tap into the clinical trial infrastructure and capacity that the network system provides. Finally, it is our goal to have each of the networks establish a means of designing and implementing a cross-network agenda to address research questions related to specific populations.

Each of our upcoming blog posts will focus on specific aspects of the network restructuring in which we are seeking input from the broader research and HIV/AIDS communities. Specifically, the entries will address:

  • NIAID’s clinical research priority areas, namely prevention, therapeutics and vaccines;
  • the structure of the new networks; and
  • the relationship between network leadership groups and clinical research sites.

We will be asking specific questions designed to invite thoughtful comment that will help shape the clinical trial networks from 2013 through 2020. In order to comment, you will need to provide your name, affiliation and e-mail address, so we have a record of who has responded. However, we want people to freely express their ideas and opinions in response the questions we pose. NIAID will respond to specific comments, where appropriate, and reserves the right to exclude inappropriate comments (e.g., vulgar language, personal attacks, offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups, comments that are clearly off-topic or that promote services or products, and comments that make unsupported accusations). We will review and post comments Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Please check back here next week, when I will be discussing prevention research and its many components, including clinical product development for microbicides, approaches to preventing acquisition and transmission, and integrated prevention strategies, including treatment as prevention.

This is an exciting time for NIAID and the future of our clinical trial networks. We hope you’ll join in the conversation to move us forward.