We will answer any questions you have to make sure you understand what is involved with participating in our study.
Q: Why did you decide to volunteer?
I decided to volunteer upon receiving information about the study from a dear transgender friend who serves on our local CAB. Through the last 10 years I have been around several HIV+ individuals and have always wanted to have the opportunity to "do more" to help them. After researching the study I feel that this is the opportunity I have been looking for and am excited for the possibilities that can come from the study.
Q: Describe your relationship with the clinic staff.
I look forward to my visits. I work closest with my nurse coordinator but when I am able to see the other staff, I always have a good time. They all make my visit comfortable, quick and informative. I could not ask for a better staff or experience.
Q: What is it like to get the infusions (IVs)? Does it hurt?
The infusions are really no different than a "normal" IV in terms of feeling. I have not had any adverse reactions and simply go about my day after I receive them. They do not take long at all and the visits fit easily in my schedule.
Q: How do you feel afterward, or the next day? Have you had any side effects?
I have not had any side effects and feel just fine after receiving the infusions. I am able to carry on like nothing happens and if you look at my arm you cannot even see that I had a needle in my arm.
Q: What do your friends/family/partner think about your study participation?
I have had the opportunity to create a wonderful support group for my life. My church, friends and work colleagues are all very supportive when they hear about the study. Each visit gives me the opportunity to speak with and educate people around me about what the study is about, and even more about HIV itself. Everyone around me is always eager hear about what is happening at the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at UAB.
"I chose to volunteer as a way to continue my service to the community, and I believe that it is especially important since gay black men like myself are greatly affected by HIV. Seeing images like me will hopefully draw more gay black men to this study, and could be very resourceful in preventing new infections. This is also a contribution to the work that activists, advocates, and researchers are doing across the country to end the epidemic."
"Receiving infusions is a smooth and painless process. Initially, I had my concerns of being a little lab rat, but the staffs' knowledge and level of competence helped to relinquish fears."
"After receiving the infusion I immediately returned to normal day-to-day activities without any significant side effects. In fact, nothing at all has changed or affected my ability to function or restricted me from doing the things I love most."
"My partner is happy that I am actively involved in a study that could potentially be a great contribution to the work I love."
Mike came to Northeast Ohio to go to school, and he has never left. The area has given him ample opportunity to participate in medical research.
Mike has been participating in clinical trials for over 30 years, and has been involved in a multitude of different studies. The infusion study is the first time he saw himself being a part of something that will make a difference.
“I decided to participate in the clinical trial at the suggestion of a friend and fellow graduate of my nursing program, which I am happy to say that I graduated from in May 2015. The personal reason behind why I participated was that I was in a relationship several years ago with a partner who was diagnosed late with HIV/AIDS and died less than 7 months later. We were only together for a year and a half before he passed away. His passing and my experiences watching the nurses and other healthcare workers caring for him was the key factor that opened my eyes and heart to nursing as a career path. Yet also being gay and HIV negative, I felt that I could contribute in some fashion to my community and help those diagnosed and living with HIV in a roundabout way.”
“The nurses, doctors and support staff at the clinic where I participated were supportive and loving. I was also able to observe how they interacted and cared for the patients who were coming in for their regular infusions, assessments, etc. I made sure that the times when I was scheduled for the infusion procedure balanced with my class and work schedule. The process and wait times were long for each individual procedure/infusion, however I was able to study while waiting! I had very few side effects and if/when I did, they were minimal and not a problem to manage, typically resolving within 24 hours. I was open and honest about my participation in the clinical trial with my classmates, friends, coworkers, loved ones and my fiancé who is HIV positive (He especially gave me his support and blessing!). They were proud and supportive of my being a part of this valuable research project. As I reflect back on the experience, I am humbled yet honored to have contributed my time (and body!) for this worthy cause. I recommend it for those wanting to make a difference in millions of others' lives.”