EAST LANSING, Mich. A new community-based HIV/AIDS registry, one of the first in the nation to include patients from rural areas, will provide a unique opportunity to find answers to myriad medical questions, from the impact of drugs such as marijuana on the virus to why some patients naturally ward off the disease.
The registry is being created by a Michigan State University infectious disease team led by Peter Gulick, an associate professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine studying HIV for decades and operating three clinics with more than 700 patients.
"Despite some notable successes in recent years, there still is a critical need to address the multiple problems that afflict all HIV infected populations," Gulick said. "While there are many HIV registries across the nation, almost all are university-based in urban settings, providing patient information that is not always diverse or representative, which can limit progress."
Research of HIV patients in rural areas is lacking, said Linda Dale, also with the college and a member of Gulick's team. Additionally, there is a need to study the use of drugs such as marijuana in patients in various settings.
The new registry will draw patients from Gulick's clinic in mid-Michigan, as well as clinics in the Saginaw area and northern lower Michigan. Patient consents are being accumulated and a database soon will be finalized.
"The registry will help us identify groups of HIV patients that have specific characteristics, which allows researchers to investigate populations of patients not previously adequately studied," Dale said.
It will capture not only biological data from patients but socio-economic characteristics, too, creating an epidemiological treasure trove for researchers. Already, several MSU researchers have expressed interest in setting up projects:
*Norbert Kaminski, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the Center
|Contact: Jason Cody|
Michigan State University