Researchers have devised an intervention that vastly increases African-American and Latino participation in HIV/AIDS medical studies, opening the door for improving the disproportionately low minority enrollment in such research. Publishing their findings in AIDS and Behavior, the investigators randomly divided 540 black and Latino individuals living with HIV into two groups: One received the intervention while the control group only received a small-group health education program; then both were offered the chance to be screened for a total of 30 medical studies, followed by the possibility of enrollment if they were found eligible.

The intervention consisted of peer-driven recruitment and education, combined with both small-group and individual meetings in which trained counselors discussed the low rates of minority participation in HIV/AIDS research and addressed potential fears on the part of the participants. Those in the intervention group were also offered assistance in navigating various structural and personal obstacles that may have come up as they approached the screening process.

A total of 49.3 percent of those who received the intervention submitted to screening for the trials, compared with just 3.7 percent among the controls—ultimately meaning that the intervention increased the screening rate by 30-fold. With 55.5 percent of those who were screened for studies found eligible, 91.7 percent of those in the intervention group enrolled, compared with none in the control group.

To read the press release, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.