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A Comparison of Two Ways to Manage Anti-HIV Treatment (The SMART Study)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00027352
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 5, 2001
Last Update Posted : November 25, 2009
Information provided by:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to compare two ways of using anti-HIV drugs to help health care providers and patients decide how to best use anti-HIV treatments over many years. Many health care providers now treat patients with daily drugs to keep the viral load as low as possible. This approach helps patients with CD4 counts less than 200-250 cells/mm3 live longer without serious diseases. But it is not known if this is the best way to treat patients with higher CD4 counts. There is information suggesting that these patients may be able to wait to use anti-HIV drugs while CD4 counts are above 250 cells/mm3. Because this study will be carried out over several years, it will provide information on the long-term advantages and disadvantages of these two treatment strategies.

Condition or disease
HIV Infections

Detailed Description:

Implementation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) guidelines, which emphasize maximal and durable suppression of viral load for the majority of individuals infected with HIV, has resulted in a substantial decline in morbidity and mortality. However, many asymptomatic patients are not at immediate risk of serious opportunistic diseases, the effectiveness of ART wanes over time due to HIV drug resistance, and there are short- and long-term toxicities of treatment. This motivates a comparison of two strategies: one which conserves treatments by deferring their use while the risk of opportunistic disease is low and one which aims for sustained virologic suppression, irrespective of disease risk.

In this large, long-term trial, patients will be randomly assigned to either the drug conservation (DC) or viral suppression (VS) group. Patients will be enrolled over a 3-year period and followed for an average of 7.5 years. The DC group will stop or defer ART until CD4 cell count declines to below 250 cells/mm3; they will then receive treatment to increase CD4 count to greater than 350 cells/mm3 followed by episodic ART based on CD4 cell count. The VS group will use ART to maintain viral load as low as possible, irrespective of CD4 cell count. Patients will be seen Months 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, then every 4 months for data collection visits. All available ARTs, including immunomodulators, and resistance testing may be used by patients in both treatment groups. Selected subsamples of patients enrolled in the study will be followed with more intensive data collection for secondary outcomes relating to cost and health care utilization, quality of life, HIV transmission risk behaviors, and metabolic complications of treatment.

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Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 6000 participants
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: A Large, Simple Trial Comparing Two Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (The SMART Study)

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: HIV

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   13 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Note: Enrollment into this trial was halted 01/11/06.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV infection
  • CD4 cell count greater than 350 cells/mm3 within 45 days of study entry
  • Willing to start, change, or stop antiretroviral therapy
  • Acceptable methods of contraception
  • Good health at the time of study entry
  • Available for the study for at least 6 months
  • Able, in the clinician's opinion, to comply with the protocol

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently participating in the MDR-HIV, NvR study, or another study which is not consistent with one of the treatment groups in this study. CPCRA FIRST participants may be screened for SMART after August 8, 2005 and can be randomized into SMART on or after September 19, 2005.
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00027352

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Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
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Study Chair: Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH Harlem AIDS Treatment Group, Harlem Hospital Center
Study Chair: James Neaton, PhD CPCRA Statistcal and Data Management Center / CCBR
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00027352    
Other Study ID Numbers: CPCRA 065
First Posted: December 5, 2001    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 25, 2009
Last Verified: December 2008
Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
Physician's Practice Patterns
Anti-HIV Agents
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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HIV Infections
Blood-Borne Infections
Communicable Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Genital Diseases
Urogenital Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases