What is your name and where are you from?
Ruben Vidales, from Los Angeles, CA
When did you join the ACTG?
I have been involved with ACTG studies for a very long time – like over 20 years!
Why did you get involved with the ACTG, and what are some of the things you’ve done as a member?
I love research and have seen the benefits hundreds of times, including for myself. I want to be able to assist others through my advocacy. I never want my kids, or anyone in their generation, to go through what we have gone through and continue to go through.
I’ve been an ACTG CAB member for over 12 years, and was on the Community Scientific Subcommittee for 7 years. I’m about to begin another term on the ACTG CSS
Describe your community.
Most importantly, my community is the entire world dealing with HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. My local community is underrepresented and marginalized. Sometimes it is hard to reach out to the populations that make up my community, but it’s important not to give up. My community – regardless of HIV status – is hopeful for a cure. But we are also frustrated by a lack of services, especially for mental health issues. Overall my community stays positive and hopeful.
What are the most important treatment issues to your community?
Taking care of all the issues related to aging: medically, physically and mentally. Also finding a cure for HIV.
How do you want your work in the ACTG to be remembered?
That I made an impact. That I spent ACTG resources effectively and disseminated vital information and knowledge to as many communities as possible.
What are your future hopes for the ACTG and HIV research?
I hope that the ACTG leadership continues doing a fantastic job in the field of HIV research – cure, pill burdens, side effects, new medications, identifying reservoirs, long acting treatments, aging, and most of all, continuing to involve community members at the table throughout protocol development.