The University of Utah Medical Center will conduct clinical trials of a new drug that holds promise for treating AIDS victims.

Researchers are seeking participants for their study, which will consider the effectiveness of ddI - dideoxyinosine - in controlling human immune deficiency virus, more commonly known as the HIV infection. In addition, the study will consider the ability of dronabinol (marinol) in improving nutrition in HIV-infected patients.Preliminary studies of ddI show it might halt replication of HIV and strengthen the immune system in patients with AIDS.

AZT has been held out as the drug of hope for AIDS treatment. But researchers believe while AZT does prolong life in some patients, its effectiveness is limited.

One objective of the U. study is to evaluate different levels of ddI as an alternative therapy for patients who cannot tolerate AZT.

HIV-infected patients commonly experience nausea, loss of appetite and severe weight loss. These symptoms lead to numerous nutritional problems and a weakened immune system.

Dronabinol already has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for treating patients on chemotherapy. Evidence suggests the drug may stimulate appetite.

Study participants will receive medications and study-related lab work free. For information, or to volunteer, call the Division of Infectious Diseases at the U. Medical Center, 581-8811.