Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is applying for an Adolescent Medicine Trials Unit (ATU) in response to NIH RFA-HD-10-015 Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. The BCM Trials Unit plans to contribute to the ATN's research agenda by providing an experienced research team to plan, enroll, analyze and publish results of research trials including behavioral research studies, community needs assessments, and therapeutic trials while meeting clinical and behavioral needs of HIV-infected youth. The BCM ATU will have three resources of patients: 1) Teen Clinics for HIV-infected youth at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) lead by Drs Paul and Schwarzwald, Sections of Allergy and Immunology, and Retrovirology respectively, Department of Pediatrics, BCM;2) Thomas Street Clinic (TSC) HIV-infected youth clinic lead by Dr Schwarzwald;and 3) Project Medical Home Clinics which provide adolescent care in medically underserved areas of Houston lead by Dr Desiree Evans, Department of Pediatrics, BCM. BCM will have 225 HIV-infected adolescents and over 1000 at-risk adolescents who are 12-24 years of age available to approach for enrollment into intervention trials aimed at the prevention of HIV, primary prevention In at-risk and secondary and tertiary prevention in the HIV-infected, pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults. BCM proposes unique studies involving innovative use of technology for secondary prevention of HIV transmission and adherence to HIV medication regimens among youth, a study of the pharmacokinetics to evaluate interactions of antidepressants when used with antiretroviral medications in HIV-infected youth, and a study that evaluates linkage to care for youth identified as HIV-infected through a large, youth oriented community testing event sponsored by the city health department and a community based AIDS organization. BCM ATU has the clinical, behavioral and research capacities and linkages to community to participate in multiple trials aimed at prevention of HIV in youth and trials aimed at improvements in management and psychosocial functioning of HIV-infected youth.
Youth in Houston and surrounding counties have one of the fastest growing rates of HIV-infection in the United States. Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)'s application to become an Adolescent Medicine Trials Unit is relevant to public health in that BCM plans to implement trials designed to promote primary prevention in HIV at-risk and secondary and tertiary prevention in HIV-infected youth.