. "3 Overview of Programs of Research on Ethnic Minority and Medically Underserved Populations at the National Institutes of Health." The Unequal Burden of Cancer: An Assessment of NIH Research and Programs for Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
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the recruitment of minority candidates into clinical trials. NIAID works with these networks to identify and help develop culturally sensitive educational materials and to identify and overcome barriers to recruitment and retention of minority patients. Among the patients enrolled in the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group in 1996, for example, 35 percent were African American and 25 percent were Hispanic. Three institutions serving predominantly minority communities were originally funded in 1993 to assist in minority accrual to these trials. Similarly, the Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA) enrolled 31 percent African-American patients and 12 percent Hispanic patients among new enrollees in 1996. CPCRA is a community-based trials network located in community settings such as health care clinics and centers, making these trials much more accessible to women and ethnic minorities.
NIAID supports epidemiologic research, clinical research, and research on the natural history and transmission of HIV infection in a variety of populations. Urban women and children are the focus of the Women and Infants Transmission Study, which evaluates issues of perinatal HIV transmission and disease progression in women and children. In 1996, 86 percent of the women enrolled in this program were ethnic minorities. Similarly, the Women's Interagency HIV Study examines the spectrum and clinical course of HIV infection in women and has enrolled 56 percent African-American and 24 percent Hispanic women. In contrast, NIAID's Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which examines the mechanisms by which HIV damages the immune system and how the immune system combats HIV infection among homosexual and bisexual men, has enrolled only 15 percent ethnic minority participants.
Training and Infrastructure Development
NIAID has provided support for a number of programs designed to increase the numbers of minority biomedical researchers and support the development of the biomedical research infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.
The Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities program served to increase the number of minorities in biomedical research by providing supplemental training funds for research grants currently being funded by NIH. In 1996, NIAID funded 40 such supplements at $3.6 million for minority investigators at the junior faculty, postdoctoral, predoctoral, undergraduate, and high school levels. Similarly, the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program assists predominantly minority institutions that offer doctoral degrees via grant support for laboratory and infrastructure development, faculty expansion, and other areas to assist these institutions in becoming more competitive in seeking research