30 May Half of H.I.V. patients are women. Most research subjects are men.
Trials of vaccines and treatments have not included enough female participants. Now that scientists are exploring possible cures, the need to enroll women is greater than ever.
By Apoorva Madivilli, New York Times
Inspired by reports of a second patient apparently freed of infection with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, scientists are pursuing dozens of ways to cure the disease.
But now, researchers must reckon with a longstanding obstacle: the lack of women in clinical trials of potential H.I.V. treatments, cures and vaccines.
Women make up just over half of the 35 million people living with H.I.V. worldwide, and the virus is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. In Africa, parts of South America and even in the southern United States, new infections in young women are helping to sustain the epidemic.
Women and men respond differently to H.I.V. infection, but clinical trials continue to rely heavily on the participation of gay men. Trials of potential cures fare particularly poorly in this regard. Read more …