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Clinical Trials Network Aims To Reduce Worldwide Spread of HIV

The NIAID-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) is a collaborative global network of research sites that explores mostly non-vaccine prevention strategies to reduce transmission of HIV. These strategies range from the use of topical microbicides (gels, creams, or foams applied vaginally and/or rectally before intercourse) to interventions aimed at slowing the spread of HIV among drug users.

World map showing HIV prevalence.
A global view of HIV infection. In 2006, nearly 40 million people worldwide were living with the virus.
Credit: World Health Organization (WHO). View the full size image on the WHO website.

Research through the HPTN is carried out in HIV Prevention Trials Units (HPTUs) located at 15 sites in the United States and 14 sites in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. The African HPTUs are located in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This worldwide approach is significant because HIV is transmitted by different routes in different people at different time intervals. By testing multiple prevention strategies among diverse host and viral populations, HPTN can carefully evaluate approaches that promise to have the greatest impact on slowing the global spread of HIV.

In developing its scientific agenda, the HPTN includes community members who participate in the discussion of important issues such as study design, recruitment plans, incentives for trial volunteers, informed consent, interventions to reduce risk, and the dissemination of research findings.

HPTN investigators involve their local communities to promote the exchange of information and ideas and to ensure that social, cultural, and political values are respected wherever research is conducted.

Learn more about the HPTN.

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Last Updated April 07, 2008