TATA to 2020!
Dear ACTG community,
2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year, but it has also been a year in which the ACTG network stepped up to help lead efforts against COVID-19. As we enter a new year, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of every person who contributes to our success.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our communities and interrupted our lives, but the ACTG has risen to the occasion. We initially rapidly launched A5395 which evolved into ACTIV-2 (a protocol that includes both phase 2 and phase 3 evaluations of multiple promising investigational agents for treating early COVID-19 in a single trial) and completed a phase 2 study of the first agents in the trial (a monoclonal antibody called bamlanivimab, which recently received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA). In December, added a second combination monoclonal antibody cocktail (BRII-196 and BRII-198) was added to the study. Additional agents will be entering the study in the coming weeks and we look forward to sharing the news of their inclusion and the results. Beyond our leadership of ACTIV-2, ACTG investigators participated in the NIH COVID-19 guidelines panel; identified creative solutions to advancing ongoing HIV, TB, and hepatitis C research, despite the challenges of COVID; and expanded their research to a wide range of COVID-19 topics, including SARS-CoV-2 prevention, testing, and management.  All across the network and together with our community partners we have all worked together in the fight against COVID-19 and we are honored to lead such a committed and responsive organization.
Beyond COVID-19, the network continued its record of productivity and scientific advances. There were 34 new manuscripts published in the most important journals in our field, including the Lancet, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, AIDS, JAIDS, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Contemporary Clinical Trials, and more. ACTG members presented 32 abstracts in (what became virtual) scientific conferences, including 28 at CROI 2020. We made huge strides against TB, demonstrating the effectiveness of a 4 month TB treatment regimen and Hepatitis C, demonstrating the ability to treat hepatitis C with minimal monitoring. Please check out our December newsletter for a more complete listing of our HIV accomplishments.
The NIH re-funded the ACTG for another seven years. The ACTG will have 53 core sites in 15 countries. We would like to congratulate all of the sites that will continue with the network either as core sites or protocol specific sites. We would like to welcome five new core sites into the ACTG Network!
CAPRISA eThekwini CRS, Durban, South Africa, CRS Leader – Nesri Padayatchi, KwaZulu-Natal CTU
De La Salle Health Science Institute Angelo King Medical Research Center (DLSHSI-AKMRC), Manilla, Phillipines, CRS Leader – Melchor Frias, Emory CDC CTU
Nutrición-Mexico CRS, Mexico City, Mexico, CRS Leader – Juan Sierra Madero, Emory CDC CTU
Rustenberg CRS, Rustenberg, South Africa, William Brumskine, Aurum CTU
Yen Hoa Health Clinic CRS, Ha Noi, Vietnam, CRS Leader – Vivian Go, University of North Carolina Global HIV Prevention and Treatment CTU

The ACTG CAB launched “They Became My Family;” for more on the ACTG CAB, please see the letter below from Orbit Clanton. And sadly, we lost colleagues and legends in the HIV community, including Larry Kramer, David Hughes, Timothy Brown, and Drs James Weihe, Benigno Rodriguez, and Ned Saktor.
As challenging as 2020 has been, it has also provided a reminder of what a remarkable and unique group of individuals comprise the ACTG. We look forward to a new year that will hopefully have us rounding the corner on COVID-19 and continuing to make important strides against HIV, hepatitis, and TB. On behalf of the ACTG leadership, we thank each and every one of you for the work you do to bring about a healthier and safer world. We look forward to doing it alongside all of you.
Judy and Joe


Greetings and Happy New Year, AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) community and network colleagues! 

We, the ACTG Community Co-Chairs, are writing this message to say “THANK YOU” for the hard work, dedication, and commitment each of you demonstrated in 2020. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant public health risk that has disrupted many aspects of daily life worldwide. Your safety is still our greatest concern. We want you and your families to continue to take all the appropriate steps and actions needed to ensure your wellbeing.

It is the beginning of 2021 and we have another opportunity to reflect not only on our achievements, progress, and possibilities, but also on the lessons that we have learned from the HIV epidemic over the last four decades. While we continue to make strides towards ending the HIV epidemic, COVID-19 is imminent and threatens the progress we have made in HIV and health, globally. Like HIV, COVID-19 has highlighted the inequities in many communities, both locally and globally, with racial, gender, and socioeconomic disparities at the forefront of these challenges. Further, the public response to news around HIV and COVID-19 have been similar, as has been the politicization, and stigma. The fear continues to rip through many communities. Nevertheless, we can persevere with both education and prevention, which are key strategies for combatting misinformation, ignorance, and uncertainty.
The ways in which medical, legislative, and public institutions have united in their efforts to address COVID-19 is the kind of approach and commitment that must become the norm for ending the HIV epidemic.

The ACTG is at the forefront of COVID-19 clinical trials with the implementation of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines clinical trial (ACTIV-2, “Rise Above COVID”). ACTIV-2 is studying multiple therapeutic options for those who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms but are not hospitalized.

One of the clearest lessons the HIV epidemic has taught us within the ACTG is the power of community. The strength in our communities, inspired by a shared sense of responsibility to each other, and collaboration between governments, community organizations, and citizens, has contributed in great part to our successes in HIV. The ACTG network has been a leader in this endeavor.

For 2021, we ask for the following:
  • Recommit yourselves to the ACTG, its mission and the committees you joined
  • Renew your dedication to HIV clinical trials research
  • Recharge your physical and mental strength. We are all experiencing COVID fatigue.
We are starting a brand new year. As members of the ACTG, we must remember our clinical trials achievements and how we are mitigating the tide of HIV in order to continue to lead the fight to end both the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics through clinical trials research.

In conclusion, we want to express our gratitude to each of you. From leadership to community members to investigators and everyone else, you are the world’s foremost group of caring individuals. You are the best of what humanity has to offer and we encourage you to continue to bring your unique talents to the ACTG table in 2021.

Stay Safe and Healthy!
Orbit and Estere
GCAB Co-Chairs

Do you have interesting ACTG-related news to share? Has your site done something exceptional? What’s the latest news about your study? Do you have job postings or any other ACTG-related information? We want to know! Please submit your news to ACTG Leadership & Operations Center Communications Specialist Karen Hoffman.
Mailing Address

Copyright © 2019 AIDS Clinical Trials Network. All rights reserved.