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Long Term Non Progressor study - Global recruitment

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Hi everyone

This is to call attention to the expanded global recruitment for the Harvard/MGH 'Elite Controller study'. The goal of the study is to recruit 1,000 'elite' an viremic controllers. When I spoke with Bruce Walker MD from Harvard on my last trip to Boston for the study he said that recruitment was going well with nearly 300 subjects thus far. Many particpants have come from  the USA and Canada and it is desired that many more subjects can be found globally, thus this new thread. There are presently partcipants from Europe and Australia and it is hoped more poz people will see this thread and join the study. This study is broader than studying LTNP's only. There is a link at the end to view the study in it's entirety

What is the Elite Controllers study?

The HIV ELITE CONTROLLER STUDY is a collaborative effort between academia and the community to study on an unprecedented scale, HIV infected people who have been able to maintain viral loads at or below the limits of detection. This collaboration, which brings the power of the Human Genome Project to the study of HIV, will address the key viral, host genetic and immunologic contributions to this extraordinary outcome of infection.

Who is eligible for the study?

Participants in the study are:

HIV positive adults between the ages of 18-75
Maintaining viral loads below 2,000 copies/ml
Not taking medications for HIV
Willing to have a routine blood draw for scientific research

Priscilla Padilla is the international recruitment specialist for the study. She works directly with study co-ordinators at Harvard/MGH.

If you or someone you know may be interested in joining the study, she can be conatcted at
or 617-643-3643 which is in Boston.

She can describe in detail what your participation might be and make arrangements for a blood draw with your health care provider.

Thanks manchesteruk (aka chris) for the heads up at the 'You may be an LTNP too' thread.

My background is as a 25 year LTNP 'elite controller' who particpates in studies both in the USA and in Australia.. There are several AM Forum members who are enrolled in this study including Zephyr, Emeraldize, Bobino and others.

Thanks everyone and spread the word.


here's a link to the study

I just inquired about program- I think i may be a controller my VL is 56 (undtcbl) my cd4 861 (no meds ever)
I've been poz i think since 04'- How many of us are there?


Ms Stress,

Not sure how many of "us" there are, but perhaps Zeph and OzPaul could give you some info about how many people are enrolled in the study. 

And you should remember two other things.  First, the Boston study is not the only elite controller study going on.  I'm participating in another one conducted by Dr. Jay Levy here in San Francisco, and he's always looking for study volunteers.  Levy's study is different from the one going on in Boston, which I understand is focused on genetic factors that may have bearing on the body's ability to control viral replication.  Levy's study is following its participants over a period of many years to try to identify people who are, in Levy's view of things, "true" elite controllers. 

Which leads to the second thing you should keep in mind -- there appear to be different definitions of who qualifies as an elite controller.  From my discussions with Dr. Levy, his definition of "elite controller" is pretty narrow, and includes only people who've been able to control viral replication for 10 years or more.   So if you're trying to figure out how many of "us" there are, you have to be careful to ensure that everyone is using the same definition of "us."


Hi John,

Thanks for your response, I do realize according to different sources the term Eite/Viremic Controller can be
summarized differently. Although I am newly diagnosed( not newly infected) I have reached out to many !
and it is still uncommon for one to have the ability to suppress this virus even to standards of <400 VL without meds.
The reason for me contacting Paul or Zeph was to inquire as to the possibilities of Long term suppression in someone in my particular situation.

So although one has not been infected 10 years to qualify for that particular study with Dr.Levy, Doesn't this natural ability still deserve the proper research? Or should I just wait 10 years.

Hi Ms Stress

I'm not sure what the question is exactly but as far as studies go based on what you've told us it seems that the Harvard study may be right for you. If you've contacted them they will guide you and ask appropriate questions regarding their study. Of course any study does need documentaion such as date of exposure based on a HIV positive test result. Also, blood work over time will say what your t-cell and viral load levels have been in conjunction with your postive test result.

There are dozens of studies out there. I began with different Google searches. I narrowed my search to LTNP as it best fit my experience, yours may be different. Cast a wide net and see what you find. I also contacted MANY people by e-mail and phone, that may work for you. It took a long time (years) for me to find a study. It may go more quickly for you.

Aside from Harvard you might search the NIH Clinical trials to see if you might qualify for any study there. It's frustrating I know but in the end I spent many hours on interent searches. You may ask your HIV Dr. if he/she knows of any studies you may qualify for.

I really commend you for you efforts at stepping up to particpate in research. It is because of research that we have healthier and longer lives as people affected by HIV/AIDS, at least those with access to Doctors and medications. People in second and third world countries and the poor do not, I'm sorry say, fair so well.

I hope this has been helpful !



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