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Frequently Asked Questions about ATN

What does "ATN" stand for?
ATN stands for Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. For more about what the network is, visit the About Us page.

Why is the ATN unique or different?
The network 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.

Who funds ATN?
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), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

Who leads the ATN?
See a list of people and their responsibilities on the Contact List page.

Where can I see all the publications that use ATN data?
The updated, searchable, and sortable list of publications back to 2005 can be found here.

How is ATN organized?
The network is organized through a Coordinating Center and is led by an Executive Committee with oversight from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Executive Committee includes representatives from each project, the Coordinating Center, the NIH, and other scientific experts. Community representatives, including youth representatives, are also part of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee also has an External Scientific Panel. The Coordinating Center for ATN is located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A national Community Advisory Board, called ATN-YEAH (Youth Experts and Advocates for Health), is made up of young people ages 18-24 who lend their perspective to ATN activities. Three research programs made up of multiple studies, known as U19 grants by the NIH, make up ATN as well. The three U19s are CARES, iTech, and Scale It Up. The Coordinating Center in Chapel Hill also administers four studies that do not fall within any of the three U19s. These four studies are Consent 2.0, Work2Prevent, TERA, and Planning4Prep. The network also meets face-to-face twice a year to collaborate and learn from each other, once in the spring and once in the fall.

What is the history of ATN?
Read about the history of ATN here.

Who are ATN researchers and what do they do?
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.

Where is ATN located?
ATN has sites around the country where it recruits study participants. These include university health institutes and health care clinics. Researchers on ATN studies engage sites to recruit participants, depending on the study protocol. For example, a study may focus only on three specific cities; or it may have a wider recruitment around the country at many different sites. ATN’s Coordinating Center is located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where it is housed within the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center.

Why is a network that focuses on adolescent HIV needed?
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. In 2016, youth between the ages of 13-24 represented 21% of new HIV diagnoses in the US, according to the CDC. Of youth living with HIV, one in two were not aware they were living with the virus, the CDC reported in 2015. Out of all age groups, youth living with HIV are the least likely to have a suppressed viral load. Having a suppressed viral load helps someone living with HIV stay healthy and makes it much less likely they will pass on the virus. Out of all age groups, 59% of youth living with HIV had not received medical care, and 69% had not been retained in care for HIV in 2014. (Source [PDF])

Who is needed to participate in ATN studies?
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 12-24. Racial and ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men are particularly at risk for HIV. The CDC reports that 81% of HIV diagnoses among youth in 2016 were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, and of this group, 54% were African Americans, 25% were Hispanic/Latino, and 16% were white. Women made up approximately 12% of HIV diagnoses among youth in 2016. (Source)

I have another question or a concern. How do I contact the ATN?
Email atnhelp@unc.edu.