The numbers of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS continue to rise in the United States with more children with perinatally transmitted HIV increasing surviving to the adolescent and young adult years. Metropolitan Boston has been greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS and has followed the national trends of increasing numbers of young women, young men who have sex with men, and youth of color. The Boston HAPPENS' (Boston HIV Provider and Peer Education Network for services) Adolescent Medicine Trials Unit (AMTU) has been developed to provide access to clinical trials and research for young people 12-24 years old in the metropolitan area. The AMTU is housed in the Adolescent/Young Adult Division, Children's Hospital, Boston, with a single team of adolescent- specific HIV care providers who will offer services at Children's Hospital, Boston Medical Center and the Sydney Borum, Jr, Health Center. Children's Hospital and Boston Medical Center serve diverse populations including youth of color, young women, perinatally infected youth and gay/bisexual youth in their Adolescent Practices. The Sydney Borum, Jr., Health Center particularly provides care to gay/bisexual and transgender youth and street involved youth. The broad collaborative network of the Boston HAPPENS Program allows for the ongoing connection for young people to receive care in adolescent settings.
The specific aims of this project are to: 1) recruit and retain 75 HIV infected youth for ATN studies, 2) recruit and retain 125 appropriate controls, 3) participate in the development of the ATN research agenda, 4) establish expert and community advisory boards, and 5) strengthen HIV care and research efforts in metro-Boston. We currently have 71 HIV positive (12-23 years old, 60% female old, 60% female, 75% black) in care, project by July 1, 2000 that will have 90 HIV positive as well as 125 control subjects. Our long term experience with the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG), the Adolescent PACTG initiative, and the Boston HAPPENS Program allow us to have access to large numbers of adolescents and extensive experience with HIV care, treatment regimens, research, and clinical trials protocols. In addition, we look forward to working closely with the existing research network and the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network to help develop the scientific agenda for adolescents and young adults.