Rise above COVID on the importance of clinical trials

Danielle Sanders, Interim Managing Editor, Chicago Defender

Rise Above COVID is raising awareness of ACTIV-2, a nationwide clinical trial conducted by the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) to evaluate treatments for early COVID-19. ACTIV-2 is working to enroll people of color to ensure that the nation’s diverse population is represented in the trial.

The U.S. Black population has experienced 10 percent more COVID-19 cases, nearly 300 percent more hospitalizations, and 90 percent more deaths (CDC, March 2021) than non-Hispanic whites. Historically, the Black community has had the lowest clinical trial participation rates of any racial group and only 8 percent participation in clinical trials of drugs that were approved last year (FDA, 2020).

“Historical events like Tuskegee have understandably left many feeling that clinical trials shouldn’t be trusted,” said Lance Okeke, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and ACTIV-2 Principal Investigator, Duke University. “However, the National Research Act was signed into


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