KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS), supported by Cerner's Infectious Disease Insights group, HIV clinic researchers, and the dedicated project team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary during the Annual HOPS Investigator meeting held in April in Tampa, Fla. HOPS, one of the largest U.S. government-funded longitudinal cohort studies, follows HIV-infected patients to gain insights to improve prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. CDC initiated the study in 1993 to describe and monitor trends in demographics, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments in a population of HIV-infected outpatients in nine clinics across the United States. HOPS researchers at these clinics gather clinical, immunologic and virologic data, as well as genotypic and phenotypic information through periodic reviews of medical records. Through analysis of HOPS data, researchers have verified the impact of existing therapeutics, gained knowledge to inform new best practices in prevention and treatment and discovered new concerns warranting additional study. To date, researchers have shared HOPS study findings through 56 published manuscripts and 115 abstracts and presentations, thus enhancing the medical community's understanding of prolonged survival, the metabolic problems associated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), adherence to cART, and the occurrence of comorbidities. "HOPS is a unique study that highlights the power of true collaboration," said Dr. Sam Bozzette, a Cerner executive and internationally-recognized HIV researcher who provides strategic oversight to Cerner's HOPS team. "HOPS is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas among the research stakeholders from the CDC and participating clinic sites and provides them with the flexibility and agility to explore concerns and ideas as they become apparent." Dr. John T. Brooks, the medical epidemiologist in CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention who oversees the study, commented, "HOPS has been instrumental in highlighting the health challenges faced by persons living with HIV in the United States. He added, "Through analyses of data from more than 9,000 HIV-infected patients who volunteered to participate in this research from 1993 to date, we have been able to document new complications associated with chronic HIV disease such as cardiovascular and bone disorders. We also continue to demonstrate the value of cART and preventative strategies for extending and improving patients' lives."