AntiViral Research Center In the Department of Medicine
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Clinical Trials FAQ

We've got answers for some of the most frequently asked questions about participating in clinical trials.

 

What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are carefully designed research studies that examine the safety and effectiveness of HIV medications. We offer many kinds of clinical trials that:

  • Test the effectiveness of new medications
  • Test established, FDA-approved, medications in different dosages
  • Compare different combinations of medications to see which combinations are most effective
  • Observe clinical symptoms or behavior without adding or changing medications
    complications and co-infections that may accompany HIV, such as opportunistic infections, neuropathy, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis (TB)

All research studies must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board before participants can enroll.

What's in it for me?
In addition to participating in life-saving research, there are some direct benefits to enrolling in a trial. These include:

  • Early access to novel and promising treatment interventions
  • Collaborative relationship between you, your doctor, and our staff
  • Transportation and child care available for your clinic visits
  • Spanish interpreters on staff
  • A warm, friendly environment
  • Personalized, confidential care
  • No insurance or payment required
  • After-hours on-call medical staff

Despite these benefits, clinical trials are not right for everyone. You and your doctor may decide that the drugs you are now taking are best for you or that you should not be taking any medication yet. Also, we might not have a trial that suits your needs. We can talk over these questions with you and your doctor.

How do I enroll in a study?
You may call our Screening Coordinator at (619) 543-3196. The coordinator will ask a few questions and discuss the available studies. This conversation will take 10-20 minutes and all information will remain completely confidential, whether or not you enroll in a study.

What happens if I don't qualify?
You can call us back approximately every 3 months to see if there are new studies. You can also receive our study updates by e-mail.

How can I find out about new research studies?
We update our studies continually. That's why it's best to call 619-543-3196 and speak with the Screening Coordinator. You may also e-mail us if you have questions about a research study. We occasionally send out e-mail announcements about new, upcoming, or ongoing specific studies that are open for enrollment. In addition, we have a quarterly newsletter with a list of all open studies. If you would like to receive these study updates or would like to be on our newsletter mailing list, send us an e-mail.

What if I still have questions?
Contact the Screening Coordinator at 619-543-3196 or mgiancola@ucsd.edu. Please have the following information available, if possible:

  • Current CD4 count (your T-cell count)
  • Current viral load
  • HIV medications that you are currently taking
  • HIV medications that you have taken in the past

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