It seems that blondes don’t have all the fun: doctors are looking for dark-haired HIV-negative men and women to participate in a study to test drug levels in hair.
The “Strand Study” is an effort made by AIDS scientists to figure out if people who are HIV negative would benefit from prophylactically taking anti-HIV meds to reduce their chances of becoming infected.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health and UCSF wish to test dark hair to see how well the drug is working with the body, as well as how well it is being metabolized.
Scientists are looking for dark hair simply because of its pigment; drug molecules bind to hair pigment, and since darker hair has more pigment, the drug is more likely to bind to the hair molecules, which makes it easier to measure the drug.
The Strand study requires volunteers to take various amounts of tenofovir, a drug that used in prophylactic studies. Doctors are looking for just 24 HIV- negative volunteers over the age of 18. They will be paid $1,300 to take 3 different dosages of the drug, which will each last 6 weeks. It also requires a 24-hour hospital stay.
For more information, visit the Help Fight HIV website, or call (415) 503-2163.