Women, HIV research and antiretrovirals


HIV News LogoSeveral presentations at the 4th International Workshop on HIV and Women again highlighted the relative paucity of data to guide treatment decisions in women – particularly with newer drugs.

The inclusion (or exclusion) of women in HIV research

A collaboration between IAS, IAVI and AMFAR reviewing the inclusion of women in HIV research – trials of antiretrovirals, vaccines and cure strategies – exposed the unsurprising finding that women are underrepresented, particularly in antiretroviral trials and cure strategies. [1]

Notably publically funded antiretroviral clinical trials (including US National Institute of Health [NIH] sponsored trials) only included small proportions of women despite existing regulation intended to correct this.

Although the proportion of women in antiretroviral trials remains low, there has been an increase over time. The proportion of women is particularly low in trials conducted in high-income countries. Vaccine trials do better and include a higher proportion of women.

Shirin Heidari presented results from this literature review for which the investigators performed systematic searches in PubMed for antiretroviral, vaccine and cure trials. Antiretroviral included articles describing trials published during three time periods (1994-1997, 2001-2004 and 2008-2011). Vaccine included articles published 2000-2012 that reported results from vaccine trials. Cure included articles describing cure trials published through 2012.

The review excluded trials that only enrolled one sex. The investigators extracted data describing the number of women compared to the total number of participants (enrolled, completed the trial and/or reached an endpoint), date of publication, trial phase, countries in which the trial was conducted and funding sources.

Women, HIV research and antiretrovirals | HTB | HIV i-Base.

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