A Banner Publication
January 1, 2009 – Vol. 3 • No. 5

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Clinical trials:
Minority participation is vital

Tracey Sigler (left), shown with her son, Bryant, participated in a study to investigate risk factors associated with gestational diabetes, a rare disease that disproportionately impacts black women.
At one point in her life, Tracey Sigler admits, the mere mention of human medical experiments would have probably triggered an immediate reaction.

No way. No way was she going to be some sort of human guinea pig.

But she acknowledges that times have changed and so has she.

So when she saw an ad seeking volunteers for a study that could potentially help other women with a rare form of diabetes, she decided to sign up.

“I’m very comfortable,” she says. “It will help others and increase awareness.”

And that’s the point. Full story

The ins and outs of medical research

Ben Perkins, 43, is on a mission.

For years, he has worked as a community educator trying to raise awareness of the need for more African American involvement in HIV/AIDS research.

Perkins is also a bit of a maverick. He has participated in several clinical trials; as a gay black man, he says he believes that he owes it to the black and gay communities.

“It’s one thing to talk about it, but another thing to actually roll up your sleeves,” he said.

For Perkins, it’s personal. Many of his friends are HIV-infected. “HIV has had a profound impact on me,” said Perkins. “My childhood best friend died of AIDS.” Full story


Clinical trials: Who pays the bill? click here

A closer look

Clinical trials are medical research studies to find an improved way to treat, prevent or diagnose an illness. Volunteers are required to prove the efficacy of the new approach. Historically, African Americans and other minorities, as well as women and the elderly, have not been well represented among those participating in clinical trials.

Full story

The right decision click here

Will it work for you? click here

Take the right steps click here

Where to look for help click here

Questions & Answers click here

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