Balzer Discusses Trial Design at HIV Prevention Symposium

UMass Amherst Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer

Laura Balzer

November 19, 2018

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Laura Balzer delivered an invited talk on trial design during the HIV Vaccine Trial Network’s symposium on “HIV Prevention Efficacy Trial Designs of the Future” held in Seattle, WA, on November 5. The symposium brought together leaders in the field of HIV prevention and treatment. Participants included representatives from governmental agencies (NIH, FDA), non-governmental agencies (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), industry, community-advocacy groups, and academia.

In the talk, Balzer discussed the design and analysis of pragmatic trials, which aim to learn the real-world effects of interventions with proven individual-level efficacy. Among other factors, she advocated for not treating HIV in a silo. Previous results from the SEARCH test-and-treat trial, for which Balzer serves as study statistician, demonstrate that a multi-disease, community-based approach can reduce HIV incidence, mortality, tuberculosis, and improve control of non-communicable diseases.

The HIV Vaccine Trials Network is the world’s largest publicly funded multi-disciplinary international collaboration facilitating the development of vaccines to prevent HIV/AIDS.