FIGHT Research

Philadelphia FIGHT (FIGHT) was founded as the Community-Based Research Initiative on AIDS as a partnership of individuals living with HIV/AIDS and clinicians who joined together to improve the lives of people living with the disease by testing potential treatments for HIV/AIDS and its complications. Today, clinicians at FIGHT continue to be involved in a number of studies.

Research at FIGHT

The following examples illustrate common types of human subjects research that are performed at Philadelphia FIGHT. These are examples only, and are not exhaustive of all human subjects research.

  •  Biomedical Research: Biomedical research involves research (1) to increase scientific understanding about normal or abnormal physiology, disease states, or development; and (2) to evaluate the safety, effectiveness or usefulness of a medical product, procedure, or intervention. Vaccine trials, medical device research, and AIDS/HIV research are all types of biomedical research.
  • Clinical Research: Clinical research involves the evaluation of biomedical or behavioral interventions related to disease processes or normal physiological functioning. Clinical research often, but not always, includes drugs, devices, or biological products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Social and Behavioral Research: The goal of social and behavioral research is similar to that of biomedical research-to establish a body of knowledge and to evaluate interventions-but the content and procedures often differ. Social and behavioral research involving human subjects focuses on individual and group behavior, mental processes, or social constructs and usually generates data by means of surveys, interviews, observations, studies of existing records, and experimental designs involving exposure to some type of stimulus or environmental intervention.
  •  Epidemiology Research and Retrospective Chart Reviews: Epidemiology research targets specific health outcomes, interventions, or disease states and attempts to reach conclusions about cost-effectiveness, efficacy, interventions, or delivery of services to affected populations. Some epidemiology research is conducted through surveillance, monitoring, and reporting programs-such as those employed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-whereas other epidemiology research may employ retrospective review of medical, public health, and/or other records. Because epidemiology research often involves aggregate examination of data, it may not always be necessary to obtain individually identifiable information. When this is the case, the research may qualify for exemption or expedited IRB review. In all cases, the IRB, not the individual investigator, will determine when IRB review of the activity is required.
  • Quality Assurance Activities: Quality Assurance activities attempt to measure the effectiveness of programs or services. Quality assurance activities constitute human subject research when involving participants and require IRB review, when they are designed or intended, at least in part, to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a controlled experiment in which people take medication for a specified time to determine its effectiveness and safety. Information gathered from clinical trials help create future treatments. Clinical trials are currently the most effective way to help people who have exhausted all proven therapies and to develop new and better treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Who can enroll in a trial?

Each clinical trial has specific requirements; anyone meeting those requirements may be eligible to enroll in a trial. FIGHT clinical trials are free and participation is voluntary. Before participating in a study, patients go through a consenting process, which explains all the risks and benefits of that particular study. Participants may withdraw from clinical trials at any time without affecting access to their health care.

Click the link to view ongoing trials conducted at Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers.

If you are interested in participating in clinical trials, please contact the research staff of Philadelphia FIGHT at 215-525-8695.

Thinking of conducting research at FIGHT?

If you would like to collaborate with a  FIGHT investigator or conduct a research trial at FIGHT, please fill out the Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers Research Conduct Proposal Form and return it to If you would like to recruit for an ongoing research trial from the FIGHT client-base, please forward your IRB approved advertisements to Linden along with a brief description of your research.

Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers Research Conduct Proposal   Research and Regulatory Standard Fees

Resources for Collaborating Investigators

What’s new in FIGHT Research?

As a long time partner of the Wistar Institute and contributor to the National Martin Delaney Collaboratory, FIGHT Research is excited to share the “HIV Cure-Related Research Community Training Needs Assessment.” This work created a curriculum to furnish community understanding of an engagement in HIV cure-directed search. You can find the full publication here.

The BEAT-HIV cure-directed trial still seeking interested patients! Call 215-525-8695 to see if you qualify or want more information

FIGHT Research is proud to partner with the University of Pennsylvania and the Wistar Institute on a novel approach to HIV therapy. The trial is part of the BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory, a network of doctors and scientists dedicated to devising “the most effective way to combine immunotherapy regimens to cure HIV.” This trial wants to know whether three immune-targeted HIV therapies will work in combination, the first time such a trial will be conducted.

Visit: Local HIV trial combines three immune-targeted therapies to read more about this work or visit for more information on the BEAT HIV Delaney Collaboratory.

FIGHT Research is currently enrolling patients who are living with HIV, are currently taking medication for HIV, and have experienced rapid weight gain. You may qualify for a clinical trial! Call 215-525-8695 or email

Are you taking Biktarvy for HIV treatment and interested in injectable medications for HIV

The SOLAR study is being conducted to learn if a combination of two investigational medications, taken every 2 months, can keep people living with HIV undetectable. Call 215-344-1631 for more information or to see if you qualify.

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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