The overarching objectives of the BSCG are to provide expert opinion to the NIH-funded HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks on the behavioral components of their research agenda and studies, including, but not limited to, advice on protocol design, protocol implementation and methodology for data collection and evaluation. Examples of issues that can be addressed include the assessment of the interaction of adherence and risk behaviors in prevention studies, as well as the implications to study design of real-time adherence measures and possible interventions based on that data.
The Behavioral Science Consultative Group (BSCG) was formed in the summer of 2013. Membership is comprised of ten behavioral science researchers; each of the NIH-funded HIV/AIDS clinical research networks has a representative on the BSCG along with five experts that are not associated with the networks.
The cross-network/trans-Institute Youth Prevention Working Group (YPRWG) was formed in the winter of 2012 and stopped meeting in December 2022. Its creation was a key recommendation emerging from the NIH “Focused initiatives for Healthier Lifestyles by the Inter Network Advisory Group on Adolescent Prevention” meeting. The group consisted of representatives from the NIH networks, the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN), DAIDS, NIAID, NIMH, NIDA, and NICHD.
The group addressed issues such as:
- Coordinated sharing of network adolescent research agendas
- Addressed the challenge of conducting trials across multiple networks
- Considered tangible outcomes such as dropping the mean age of network volunteers
- Validated existing tools
- Compared ongoing and upcoming studies
- Considered adolescent issues early on in design process
- Reviewed relevant informed consent documents
- Collated a set of core competencies
The YPRWG conducted an online survery of Network sites in 2021 to assess the experience, capacity, and interest in adolescent HIV prevention research conducted by the NIH HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks. An executive summary was prepared along with key findings and recommendations. The site survey report can be viewed here.