Summary: To measure participation in experimental drug trials among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), we interviewed 4,604 persons at least 18 years of age who were reported to have AIDS to 11 state and city health departments in the United States. Ten percent reported that they were currently in a trial. Current enrollment differed significantly (p < 0.05) by race/ethnicity (blacks, 5%; whites, 14%; Hispanics, 15%), gender (women, 7%; men, 11%), exposure mode (injection drug use, 5%, men who have sex with men, 14%), annual household income (<$10,000, 8%, >=$10,000, 14%), education (<12 years, 6% >=12 years, 12%), health care (no regular care, 1%, public care, 8%; private care, 17%), and time since AIDS diagnosis (<=6 months, 9%; <6 months, 12%). Adjusting for all factors and time since AIDS diagnosis, blacks (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.26, 0.47), persons with less than 12 years of education (AOR = 0.71, CI 0.53, 0.96), and those without regular health care (AOR = 0.24, CI 0.10, 0.61) remained less likely to be in a trial. Blacks, those with less than 12 years of education, and persons without regular health care were less likely than other persons with AIDS to be currently enrolled in AIDS trials. To increase enrollment of these persons, researchers must address barriers to participation for these groups.
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