The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network acknowledges the 5,975 study volunteers who participated in the A5001 or the ACTG Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials (ALLRT) study.
Click here to a watch a video from ACTG staff around the country thanking ALLRT study participants.
The study began in 2000 as a long-term follow-up study for people living with HIV in the United States who were already enrolled in a parent ACTG study. The goal of the study was to follow people living with HIV for an average of five years or longer after starting anti-HIV treatment to better understand the long term effects of the virus and anti-HIV medications.
While the average time an ALLRT participant was on study was five years, many volunteers were with the trial for its full 13 years. ALLRT has led to more than 60 published articles on HIV research and allowed researchers to make strides studying long term drug toxicity, immune recovery, long term effects of HIV on the body and the risks of opportunistic infections and other complications of HIV.
“The ALLRT protocol was one of the first studies that showed us that in many people, while we get substantial immune recovery and an improved CD4 count with good antiretroviral therapy and full suppression of viral loads, not everybody recovers to normal values,” says Constance Benson, MD, ALLRT Co-Chair and Principal Investigator of the ACTG’s University of California San Diego Antiviral Research Center site (pictured right). “There is a relationship between your CD4 count when you start antiretroviral therapy and how much recovery you get in your immune system. ALLRT set the stage for many other studies that helped us identify those factors that contribute to either good CD4 count recovery or failure to recover CD4 cells appropriately.”
Ann Collier, MD, ALLRT Co-Chair and Principal Investigator at the ACTG’s University of Washington AIDS Clinical Research site (pictured below), says the study produced a vast database of patient samples and clinical information for networks to use when investigating HIV reservoirs, inflammation and many other HIV research questions.
“Throughout the ACTG there is a huge amount of appreciation for people who were willing to enter this study and continued to come back,” Collier says. “This has created a very rich, broad and deep amount of information that has been used to ask a variety of other questions and will continue to be used.”
The Network’s investigators, nurses and other site staff sincerely thank study participants for their commitment to ALLRT and their dedication to furthering the field of HIV research.