Drug trials are a vital tool in developing newer and better treatments for HIV. Every anti-HIV drug available these days has had to go through rigorous trials before being approved for general use. Without human drug trials there would be no drugs available to treat HIV, or any other illness for that matter.

From time to time, your doctor may ask you if you would be willing to go onto a drug trial. Remember though that it is your choice and you should never feel pressured into doing something you are not entirely comfortable with.

Some men feel that the combination they are taking is working well, and so why change onto a drug trial and risk new side effects or developing resistance to one or more anti-HIV drugs.

However, there are benefits of taking part in drug trials. People on trials usually get much closer monitoring at their HIV clinic whilst they are on the trial. Some people feel a great altruistic benefit from going on drug trials as they are helping in the development of new drugs or treatments to fight HIV which could eventually save the lives of people who are resistant to most of the drugs currently available.

As well as drug trials for new treatments, you may also be asked to participate in a study of the anti-HIV drugs you are already taking. This could be a trial to compare the effectiveness of the combination you are taking against another treatment option being taken by other participants in the trial. In these cases, probably the only change to your treatment would be closer monitoring by your clinic.

If you are asked to go on a drug trial, always ask your doctor to explain everything that the trial involves to you, including the risks to you and to your future treatment options. Make sure you get all the information to take away with you so you can carefully read through what is involved. Take your time to come to a decision, and only do so if you feel comfortable with and fully informed about the pros and cons of the trial.