The Adolescent AIDS Program (AAP), at Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, is applying to be a member of the clinical Science Group of the Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network. The goal of the Research Network is to improve knowledge about HIV infection in youth through research, to ultimately improve and standardize health care management. The proposed Research Network will meet several research objectives of the Public Health Service's """"""""Healthy People 2000"""""""" report by focusing on HIV-infected, low- income, minority adolescents, an HIV-infected population that to date has been poorly characterized and minimally studied. To meet these goals, the Research Network will work in two interactive groups. In Phase One (first 6 months) the Basic Science Group (BSG) will develop the Base Protocol to describe population-based spectrum of disease, disease progression and the effect of co-morbidity with other sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy among youth ages 15-19 years. The cohort of 200 HIV-infected and 100 HIV-uninfected, high-risk youth will be systematically followed for several years. Special studies may be added to the Base Protocol as the study proceeds. Also during Phase One, the Clinical Science Group (CSG) will develop clinical management guidelines, and a plan for their evaluation, based on the unique biological and behavioral aspects of HIV infection in adolescents. In Phase Two (second six months), the CSG members will be responsible for recruiting youth into the Base Protocol and providing comprehensive medical and psychosocial care according to the management guidelines. The Research Network will be governed by a Steering Committee of representatives from the BSG, CSG, Program staff and the Community Advisory Board.whose members will be recruited from CSG sites. As a member of the CSG, the AAP will enroll and follow 20 HIV+ and 10 HIV- youth in the Base Protocol. The AAP offers comprehensive HIV clinical services, has extensive experience in recruiting and retaining youth in clinical research and cares for the target population needed to successfully implement this study. The Principal Investigator, Dr. Donna Futterman, has demonstrated relevant clinical and research experience for the development and evaluation of clinical management guidelines, by providing care to HIV-infected adolescents for 6 years, authoring clinical care guidelines for HIV-infected youth and serving in a national leadership role in adolescent HIV clinical and research settings.
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