Switch On Your HIV Smarts.

New Guide to Clinical Trials for People with Hep C

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

New treatments are in development for hepatitis C (HCV), a potentially life-threatening liver infection that affects roughly one-third of people living with HIV in the United States. But, as in any area of medicine, advances in HCV treatment depend on people who volunteer to try out new drugs and strategies in clinical trials.

With the second edition of their Guide to Clinical Trials for People with Hepatitis C, longtime HIV/AIDS education and activism organization Treatment Action Group aims to help people living with hepatitis C understand the disease, gauge the benefits and risks of volunteering for a trial, know their rights and responsibilities as trial participants, and ask the right questions to inform their decisions.

“It is important to ask questions, so you can understand the risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial based on your individual health status and treatment needs,” note writers Matt Sharp (BETA’s own “Ask a Guinea Pig” columnist) and Tracy Swan. Indeed, the list of suggested questions is one of the guide’s key strengths; not every volunteer would think to ask “Will I have access to my own results?” or “Will I be able to get the experimental drug after the trial if I got the placebo?”

Interested in participating in a trial yourself? Download the reader-friendly Guide to Clinical Trials for People with Hepatitis C and learn more about HCV, how clinical trials work, what new HCV treatments are in the pipeline, and what questions to ask the research team before joining a trial.

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