Trial Design in Focus

August 21, 2020

AVAC, since its inception, has pushed the need for people most impacted by HIV to be involved in the design and implementation of clinical trials. In recent years, we have heard a clear call for community input on the design of complex, next-generation HIV prevention trials, and—along with many partners—have taken that call seriously. In this update, we share the latest on this work and provide some advocate-focused resources on next-generation trial design.

Designing trials to test new HIV prevention modalities remains crucial; high rates of new infections persist in communities all over the world. Even with effective tools becoming more accessible, it’s clear no single option fits every need. But those same options make the design of future trials increasingly complex.

Bill Snow, AVAC co-founder and senior advisor, explores this issue in Designing a New Generation of Prevention Efficacy Trials. The report lays out basic concepts in innovations in trial design and an analysis of the implications for advocacy. Snow’s guide is a roadmap for advocates, who have a leadership role to play. Download it here.

We also hope you will look at a consensus statement that emerged from AVAC’s inaugural Trial Design Academy convened in September 2019. At that meeting, a group of around 20 HIV prevention advocates from across the globe explored technical issues related to trial designs, and engaged with researchers, statisticians and regulators to understand the decisions which must incorporate input from advocates. The statement—which includes the group viewpoints and stances on this new, complex generation of HIV prevention trials—was presented at AIDS 2020 Virtual: Advocates’ Perspectives on Next-Generation HIV Prevention Trial Design.

The Trial Design Academy cohort—a global group of HIV prevention advocates and community representatives, highly literate and engaged in these complex concepts—is ready to partner in decision-making to ensure that new, possibly controversial trial designs are understood, well-supported by communities and lead to the best results possible.

The world needs a strong pipeline of research and development for HIV prevention. Innovation in trial design must meet an ambitious agenda and advocates must lead the way. To join the conversation with AVAC’s Trial Design Academy reach out to