Richard Hayes, D.Sc., principal investigator for HPTN 071 (PopART), and professor of epidemiology and international health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, England, has authored an article in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association. Experimental design is an often under-appreciated area of statistics, even though leading statisticians have always emphasized its importance. In this case study, Dr. Hayes discusses cluster-randomized trials and features HPTN 071 as a specific example.
HPTN 071 is evaluating the impact of a combination prevention strategy on HIV incidence in 21 large communities reaching nearly one million individuals in Zambia and South Africa. The study, anchored in universal household HIV testing and linkage to immediate antiretroviral treatment initiation, will provide answers to questions regarding how best to combine HIV prevention interventions in different populations and settings for maximum impact while also assessing cost-effectiveness.