“ATN” stands for the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV Interventions.
The ATN is unique because it is the only health research network in the US that exclusively studies adolescent HIV prevention and care for those living with HIV.
ATN is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) with supplemental funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The ATN is led by a collaborative team of adolescent HIV experts from the NIH, Scientific Leadership Center (SLC), Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC), Operations and Collaboration Center (OCC), clinical Site Consortiums.
The updated, searchable, and sortable list of publications back to 2005 can be found here.
The ATN structure includes a Scientific Leadership Center (SLC) which is comprised of a Scientific Leadership Group (SLG), External Scientific Plan (ESP), Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC), and six Scientific Leadership Teams. The Operations and Collaboration Center (OCC) includes the Site Consortiums (SC). The SCs participate in ATN studies through study enrollment and engagement with community partners. SC staff contribute to the scientific agenda, including membership is Scientific Leadership Teams. The OCC also supports community engagement through coordination of SC Community Advisory Boards (CAB) and the ATN National CAB (NCAB). An ATN Executive Committee includes representatives from NIH, Office of AIDS Research (OAR), the SLC, the OCC, and community experts representing ATN youth. The Executive Committee also has an External Scientific Panel. The ATN meets face-to-face twice a year to collaborate and learn from each other, once in the spring and once in the fall.
People who do research within ATN have many roles and responsibilities. They come from diverse career settings and backgrounds. They may be college professors from a variety of disciplines who also teach or lead university-affiliated health research centers. Some may be doctors who see patients regularly along with many other duties. They may be research coordinators who work on multiple studies for different networks in a university setting. ATN researchers are located around the country. Within ATN, these individuals work to answer questions about adolescent HIV through scientific research. These questions help explore ways to prevent adolescent HIV, and how to get more adolescents living with HIV in care. For example, a researcher may want to determine if a mobile app designed to help young people living with HIV take their medication is actually effective. They would then design a research study with participants to test the app and report the results. There are many other steps to this process, but this is a basic description of what ATN researchers might do.
ATN SCs are located around the country where ATN study participants are recruited. Cities include Boston, Houston, Memphis, Tampa, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. These sites include university health centers and community partners. SLC and OCC leadership and collaborators are located all over the country regularly communicating via video-conferencing methods.
The data associated with HIV and youth tell the story of why ATN is needed to prevent HIV and help retain youth living with HIV in care.
Each study has its own requirements for participant recruitment. Overall, ATN strives to incorporate participants in its studies who represent the HIV epidemic among youth ages 13-24. Racial and ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men are particularly at risk for HIV.