Committee Overview

The Community Scientific Subcommittee (CSS) represents community concerns in the ACTG. This all-volunteer group was formed in May of 1990 to provide a forum for community interests in the ACTG and to provide the researchers and staff of the ACTG with ideas from the community. The mission of the CSS is to provide meaningful and broad community input into the scientific efforts, operations, and activities of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, uninhibited by any perceived conflict of interest. The CSS is a subcommittee of the Global Community Advisory Board (GCAB) and works for the community and with the ACTG.

The CSS supports investigation into the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV. To this end, the CSS strives to ensure that the ACTG scientific priorities reflect the pressing needs of the entire spectrum of people with HIV/AIDS, and to protect the interests of research participants in ACTG studies. The CSS seeks to represent the interests of the diverse communities impacted by the HIV epidemic into the clinical research mission of the central AIDS Clinical Trials Group.
Specifically, the CSS advocates for as broad inclusion as possible into the full range of ACTG clinical trials and for innovative solutions to include traditionally under-represented populations in ACTG studies. The Community Scientific Subcommittee serves as active participants of the Executive Committee, Science Committees, and Resource Committees. As members of each protocol team, the Community Scientific Subcommittee members articulate community perspectives relevant to protocol design, development, and accrual and retention of participants.

Members for the CSS are selected by the New Member Subcommittee based on the need of the CSS to retain a broad degree of experience (including living with HIV), various areas of expertise, and diversity including geographic, racial, gender, and ethnicity. The CSS strives to maintain a membership that can both effectively represent the interests of the larger HIV community and reflect the various communities impacted by this epidemic.
As a subcommittee of the GCAB, the CSS also works closely with the local ACTG CRS Community Advisory Boards (CABs), to facilitate the transfer of concerns between the local communities and the national ACTG and its committees. All CSS members are active members of their local CABs, where feasible, and overall, at least 80% of all community members are required to be active members of their local ACTG CRS CAB.