Thursday, February 9, 2012

START AIDS Study video

Yesterday, I watched a new AIDS research video. I am a member of a community advisory board since 1990 at the Washington Veterans Hospital research site and late last year they asked me to give them a little of my background for this new video to try to help get more patients into the study. It was a real honor to be asked in as a veteran of the battle to find an effective AIDS treatment. In 1989-1993 I was a treatment activist as member of ACTUP ( activist group: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and one of the ways I survived my battle with the infection was to be very involved in the back room work to support and advise doctors in their search for treatments that really worked. I survived what seemed a certain death sentence many of my friends succumbed to over the 1980's and early 1990's. Now researchers are working on an international study of when is the best time to start using the many effective treatments that are now available. Is it better to start early or wait until you reach a lower immune system marker and show progression towards real dangerous HIV related infections? The only way to find the answer is to try both options and follow real results to see what is the best outcome over a number of years in a research study setting.
The START study is trying to find healthy HIV positive individuals who have not had any treatment are willing to toss the dice  for the choice of using drugs now or waiting until they get to the lower level T-cells. This video explains many of these details and asks us to share it with anyone who might be interested learning more about this study's objectives.
Here is the link to my minute of fame for a very good cause. The START
1982 NYC about the time we learned of the new disease that has shaped my life ever since.  

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