While awaiting doctor appointments at major U.S. medical centers, some 15,000 positive patients busily type at computers, answering questions about living with HIV and the other conditions they may have (heart disease, diabetes, depression, hepatitis).
The Healthcare Manpower Survey aims to understand long-term details of side effects, med interactions and adherence, “documenting real-life subtleties of how people stay alive,” says a creator of the project, Michael Saag, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Sharing and comparing the info will provide the fullest view yet of HIV survival and quality of life. No positive person is excluded. Saag says, “Every patient’s outcome matters.”
Most studies enroll a small group of those taking specific HIV drugs, barring people with conditions that could complicate results. Such trials leave questions; this project will fill in blanks.
The survey exists in HIV clinics in Birmingham, San Diego, San Francisco, Cleveland, Boston, Seattle and Baltimore, with other sites planned. Visiting your doctor helps your health; sharing your experiences may help everyone.