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Fellow and faculty in research lab.jpgInfectious Diseases, a division of the UMMC Department of Medicine, has many ongoing research initiatives involving various infectious diseases throughout the state and country. Many of our efforts are collaborative with other departments and institutions. An example of one of our ongoing research projects is highlighted below. 

MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MWCCS)

  • MWCCS is a longitudinal prospective cohort study of men and women living with HIV and at risk for HIV, at UMMC starting in 2013; funded by NHLBI starting in 2019
  • MACS
    • Started in 1983 and has enrolled more than 7000 men who have sex with men (MSM) over the years; they are currently following about 4500 MSM in Pittsburg, Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles
  • WIHS
    • Started in 1993 and has enrolled more than 5,000 women over the years; they are currently following about 4,500 women, 850 of which are from the Southern sites which started in 2013. Sites include Washington, D.C., two sites in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and a legacy site in Los Angeles; the Southern sites include Atlanta, Chapel Hill, NC, Miami  and a joint site in Birmingham, AL, and Jackson.
"Today, people living with HIV are more likely to develop chronic diseases than AIDS-related diseases. They have an increased risk of developing mental health and neurologic illnesses, diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and COPD, sleep disorders, anemias and other blood-related disorders, as well as some cancers. These conditions will be a sustained focus of the Combined Cohort Study. The program aims to make these research advances:
  • Identify biomarkers of increased risk for chronic disorders in people living with HIV.
  • Determine how antiretroviral therapy (ART) affects other medical conditions, including the timing of treatments after HIV infection.
  • Develop strategies for more effective interventions and treatments.
  • Learn about the role of chronic immune activation and inflammation due to HIV infection in other health conditions.
  • Study HIV as a possible research model for accelerated aging.

Investigators from the previously separate MACS and WIHS studies have made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of HIV research, including how best to diagnose and manage HIV; the link between low immune cell counts and AIDS; and genetic, metabolic, and other factors that influence how HIV infection may progress to the active diseases of AIDS.” - MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study quote

The UAB and UMMC sites each enrolled 115 in 2013-15, and each plan to enroll 100 men > age 30 starting in 2020.

  • To use data and/or specimens, contact the UMMC PI, Dr. Deborah Konkle-Parker at (601)984-5553 or email.