A Comparison of Two Ways to Manage Anti-HIV Treatment (The SMART Study)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: December 4, 2001
Last updated: November 24, 2009
Last verified: December 2008

The purpose of this study is to compare two ways of using anti-HIV drugs to help health care providers and patients decide how to best use anti-HIV treatments over many years. Many health care providers now treat patients with daily drugs to keep the viral load as low as possible. This approach helps patients with CD4 counts less than 200-250 cells/mm3 live longer without serious diseases. But it is not known if this is the best way to treat patients with higher CD4 counts. There is information suggesting that these patients may be able to wait to use anti-HIV drugs while CD4 counts are above 250 cells/mm3. Because this study will be carried out over several years, it will provide information on the long-term advantages and disadvantages of these two treatment strategies.

HIV Infections

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: A Large, Simple Trial Comparing Two Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (The SMART Study)

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Estimated Enrollment: 6000
Detailed Description:

Implementation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) guidelines, which emphasize maximal and durable suppression of viral load for the majority of individuals infected with HIV, has resulted in a substantial decline in morbidity and mortality. However, many asymptomatic patients are not at immediate risk of serious opportunistic diseases, the effectiveness of ART wanes over time due to HIV drug resistance, and there are short- and long-term toxicities of treatment. This motivates a comparison of two strategies: one which conserves treatments by deferring their use while the risk of opportunistic disease is low and one which aims for sustained virologic suppression, irrespective of disease risk.

In this large, long-term trial, patients will be randomly assigned to either the drug conservation (DC) or viral suppression (VS) group. Patients will be enrolled over a 3-year period and followed for an average of 7.5 years. The DC group will stop or defer ART until CD4 cell count declines to below 250 cells/mm3; they will then receive treatment to increase CD4 count to greater than 350 cells/mm3 followed by episodic ART based on CD4 cell count. The VS group will use ART to maintain viral load as low as possible, irrespective of CD4 cell count. Patients will be seen Months 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, then every 4 months for data collection visits. All available ARTs, including immunomodulators, and resistance testing may be used by patients in both treatment groups. Selected subsamples of patients enrolled in the study will be followed with more intensive data collection for secondary outcomes relating to cost and health care utilization, quality of life, HIV transmission risk behaviors, and metabolic complications of treatment.


Ages Eligible for Study:   13 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Note: Enrollment into this trial was halted 01/11/06.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV infection
  • CD4 cell count greater than 350 cells/mm3 within 45 days of study entry
  • Willing to start, change, or stop antiretroviral therapy
  • Acceptable methods of contraception
  • Good health at the time of study entry
  • Available for the study for at least 6 months
  • Able, in the clinician's opinion, to comply with the protocol

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently participating in the MDR-HIV, NvR study, or another study which is not consistent with one of the treatment groups in this study. CPCRA FIRST participants may be screened for SMART after August 8, 2005 and can be randomized into SMART on or after September 19, 2005.
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00027352

  Show 223 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Study Chair: Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH Harlem AIDS Treatment Group, Harlem Hospital Center
Study Chair: James Neaton, PhD CPCRA Statistcal and Data Management Center / CCBR
  More Information

Additional Information:
Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00027352     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CPCRA 065, SMART
Study First Received: December 4, 2001
Last Updated: November 24, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
Physician's Practice Patterns
Anti-HIV Agents

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases
Slow Virus Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on February 14, 2013