(HealthDay News) — A social/behavioral intervention vastly increases the number of African-American and Latino individuals living with HIV/AIDS who enroll in HIV/AIDS medical studies (HAMS), according to an article published online June 25 in AIDS and Behavior.

Marya Gwadz, PhD, from New York University in New York City, and colleagues from the ACT2 Collaborative Research Team evaluated the efficacy of a social/behavioral intervention to increase rates of screening for and enrollment into HAMS in African-American/Black and Hispanic populations. Five hundred forty participants were enrolled into a cluster randomized controlled trial of a multi-component social/behavioral program intervention that involved standard-of-care health education or peer-led education.

The researchers found that the intervention arm participants were 30 times more likely to be screened than controls (49.3 vs. 3.7%; P<0.001). Roughly half (55.5%) of those screened were eligible for HAMS, primarily observational studies. The vast majority of those eligible enrolled (91.7%), compared to no enrollments among controls.

“Achieving appropriate representation of African-American/Black and Hispanic persons living with HIV/AIDS in HAMS necessitates modification of study inclusion criteria to increase the proportion found eligible for therapeutic HAMS, in addition to social/behavioral intervention,” conclude the authors.

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