Be the Generation Bridge


Be the Generation


ASPIRA Association has partnered with Be The Generation Bridge (BTG Bridge), an initiative of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to establish relationships with communities most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in order to promote awareness, understanding, dialogue, and support for biomedical HIV prevention research. This initiative initially arose from the urgent need for an effective, preventive HIV vaccine and has recently expanded to include other biomedical HIV prevention strategies. The aim of the BTG Bridge/ASPIRA partnership is to increase awareness of and support for HIV prevention research with a specific focus on Latino youth.

With more than 33 million people living with HIV worldwide, and more than 20 million lives already lost as a result of the pandemic, the need for more biomedical prevention research remains critical. Also, according to CDC, in 2010 Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 21% of new HIV infections in the U.S. This is significant as Latinos are among the largest and fastest growing minority groups in the nation. Therefore, the need to address HIV/AIDS in this community is essential to improve the country’s overall health. 

Hilda Crespo and Yseth Laboy from the ASPIRA Association  meet with NIH Officials  Dr. Dieffenbach and Dr. Soto Torres from NIH concerning the BTG project and World AIDS Day.  Finding safe and effective methods to prevent HIV infection is a priority for the scientific community which continues to press on to identify new ways to control the spread of the disease. But the success of these efforts depends on community involvement and support from all of us. There are several ways you can get involved, including: learning the facts about and supporting HIV prevention research, supporting those who participate in clinical trials and encouraging others to get engaged, being part of a community advisory board, or considering becoming a trial participant yourself.  

As part of the efforts to find safe and effective methods to prevent HIV infection, ASPIRA is collaborating with three clinical trial networks to promote awareness among Latino communities about the importance of biomedical HIV prevention research trials.  These networks are: the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), and the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN).

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The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) is a worldwide collaborative clinical trials network that develops and tests the safety and efficacy of primarily non-vaccine interventions designed to prevent the acquisition and transmission of HIV

Funded by the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the HPTN carries out its mission through a strong network of expert scientists and investigators from both international and U.S. institutions and partnered with a leadership group comprised of three U.S.-based institutions.

The HPTN research agenda is focused primarily on the use of antiretroviral therapy for HIV Prevention; treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections; treatment of substance abuse, particularly injection drug use; behavioral risk reduction interventions and structural interventions to reduce HIV transmission and acquisition.

As a community, we must work together to raise awareness of the HIV epidemic and build knowledge of clinical trials. Healthcare providers also need to inform Latino patients about trials. The community must do its part by informing individuals of available opportunities, and then it is up to the person to volunteer.

For more information on HIV Prevention Trials Network please visit,

Interview with Dr. Carl Dieffenbach,  Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, the Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), spoke with Hilda Crespo, ASPIRA’s Liaison with Be the Generation about World AIDS Day.


The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is an international collaboration of educators and scientists on a mission to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine.  HVTN is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has trial units in 27 cities on 4 continents. The goal of HVTN is to facilitate the process of testing preventive vaccines against HIV/AIDS.

So, why is a vaccine necessary? Well, most importantly, there is no cure for the HIV/AIDS virus and finding and developing a cure is extremely complex and difficult. With a preventative HIV vaccine, transmission of the virus can be prevented, in turn saving millions of lives and dollars every year. A preventative vaccine would protect HIV-negative people from being infected with the disease, which would reduce the number of people who can pass the virus on to others.

For more information on HIV Vaccine Trails Network please visit,



The Microbicide Trials Network is a U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded worldwide collaborative clinical trials network focused on preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. The network brings together international investigators and community and industry partners devoted to reducing the sexual transmission of HIV through the development and evaluation of products used orally or applied topically to help control the sexual transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). MTN-affiliated researchers and partners work within a unique infrastructure specifically designed to facilitate the research required to support licensure of these products for widespread use.

The Microbicides Trials Network (MTN) was established in 2006, and currently consists of individuals and international industries that are committed to developing products used orally and topically that can reduce the sexual transmission of HIV. The MTN is based in the U.S. at the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Research Institute. With 25 research sites in 7 countries worldwide, the ultimate goal of the MTN is to make scientifically meaningful contributions resulting in a world without HIV/AIDS.  The goal of MTN is for complete elimination of HIV/AIDS in the world.

For more information on Microbicides Trials Network please visit,

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