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HIV Research Program

Research Project Spotlight

Multicenter AIDS cohort study - Women's interagency HIV study logo

An Initiative to Better Understand the Nature of Comorbidities in people with HIV

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) studies that began in 1984 and 1994 respectively―and were led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)―have been combined into a single cohort known as the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MACS/WIHS-CCS) with nearly 5000 active participants. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has assumed the management of awards from NIAID in January 2019.

The focus of these two cohorts is shifting away from monitoring infection risk, treatment outcomes, and progression to understanding risk, treatment outcomes, and progression of other chronic diseases besides AIDS.

The MACS/WIHS-CCS, which runs on a seven-year funding cycle, will recruit an additional 2,500 participants, including Black and Hispanic men and women from the southern region of the United States, to achieve closer balance in the numbers of participants at each Clinical Research Site, render a more diverse cohort that reflects the U.S. HIV-positive population, and replace deceased participants or those lost to follow-up.

In close collaboration with the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), NHLBI serves as the primary steward of this initiative along with 14 co-funding institutes that include:

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

The FY2019 combined level of core funding for the Clinical Research Sites and the Data Analysis Coordinating Center is approximately $42 million. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations. Research interests include:

  • Basic research on immune activation, viral resistance and HIV reservoirs.
  • Epidemiology of HIV-related comorbidities and subclinical events in their pathogenic pathway in the context of normal aging.
  • Implementation of guidelines to reduce the public health burden of HIV-related comorbidities.

FOAs were released in December 2017 with applications received in May 2018 and reviewed in August 2018. Over 70 current NIH grants support projects that depend on the MACS and WIHS cohorts to investigate a multitude of questions and to train new investigators in HIV-AIDS research.

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This page last reviewed on January 20, 2023