HPTN Scientific Committees and Cross-Cutting Groups
The HPTN Executive Committee (EC) developed general guidelines for the composition of HPTN's Scientific Committees. Details are left to the individual groups, but the EC has directed that the membership of all committees should reflect the diversity of the Network, including representatives from central Network operational components, Clinical Trials Units (CTUs), community representatives as well as scientists and researchers
Scientific Committees (SCs)
The SCs form the scientific nucleus of HPTN. These committees focus on the following populations at risk of HIV infection:
Adolescents at Risk
Women at Risk
Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
Each SC is responsible for:
Developing a population-specific research strategy to contribute to the overall HPTN research agenda
Continually reassessing research priorities in light of new ideas and research opportunities
Overseeing the formulation and review of concept plans based on the priorities in the research plan
Monitoring the status of protocol development and implementation and reporting semi-annually to the EC (SC Chair)
The following four cross-cutting groups will focus on key expertise in an area or strategy and will function by providing their expertise to all four scientific committees. The goals of the these Working Groups (WGs) are to contribute to the design of study concepts, protocols, data collection instruments and manuscripts as needed, by having representatives participate as members of protocol teams and SCs.
Combination Interventions for Prevention
Prevention packages will have to be designed that may be catered to specific populations and in specific geographical regions. The combination of interventions will require expertise of modelers, epidemiologists, statisticians and others. The EC has established a cross-cutting working group to provide expertise to all scientific committees in designing studies that will evaluate combination prevention approaches.
Biomedical Interventions for Prevention Group
Recognizing the importance of integrating biomedical prevention interventions expertise and methodology across the entire HPTN research agenda, the EC established a crosscutting working group to provide expertise and input into the development and implementation of studies in each of the populations, as needed. A second goal of this group would be to liaise with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) to explore areas of collaboration.
Community Working Group
The Community Working Group (CWG) facilitates inclusion of representatives of the research community as partners in the HPTN research agenda. Community representatives and/or community staff participate in the CWG and on community educator conference calls, HPTN protocol teams, and other Network committees.
Ethics Working Group
The Ethics Working Group (EWG) was mandated by the EC to ensure and enhance high ethical standards in HPTN research. The goals of the EWG are to contribute to HPTN research by raising awareness of and engaging Network members in dialogue about ethical issues in HIV prevention research and to facilitate decision-making around ethical issues during the research process. The EWG membership represents a broad scope of ethical, scientific, research, and community expertise ― internal and external to the HPTN and from all regions of the world.