Getting Started

Investigators who are interested in conducting research using the MWCCS platform need to submit a concept sheet which is reviewed by a specific working group and the MWCCS Executive Committee leadership. The MWCCS Data Analysis and Coordination Center (DACC) oversees the request and shipment of samples for approved concept sheets from the biorepository, makes available datasets for approved concept sheets, and provides required analytic support. 

Researchers both internal and external to the UAB-UMMC MWCCS site can apply to utilize cohort data, specimens and other resources.  If you are interested in submitting a concept sheet, please contact the local MWCCS site team at UAB or UMMC, and review the Guidelines for Investigators link. We are happy to provide you with guidance and assistance.

To access the MACS or WIHS Public Use Data Set (PDS), please click HERE to send a request form. MWCCS PDS will be available in 2022.

Cohort-wide Unified Scientific Agenda (USA)

The MWCCS investigators propose to advance basic, clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological science of HIV infection with a Combined Cohort Study (CCS) that merges two successful long-term studies of HIV: the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS, begun in 1981) and the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS, begun in 1993).  With a focus on HIV-related comorbidities and aging with HIV, we will continue to follow 4,500 well-characterized persons living with and without HIV prospectively with annual, protocol-driven visits.  Further, we will recruit 2,500 new participants that will support our scientific aims with an emphasis on Black and Hispanic MSM and individuals in the southern US. Together with a dynamic and diverse network of investigators, we will be ideally positioned to explore the following aims with a priority to discern the individual and combined effects of HIV-status, age, sex, and race/ethnicity. 

Scientific Research Aims in the  MWCCS

Cardiovascular Aims

To identify novel behavioral and HIV-related risk factors associated with: a) fatal and incident hospitalized nonfatal CVD events; and b) development and progression of subclinical cardiac structural and functional abnormalities.

Pulmonary/Sleep Aims

To identify novel risk factors, biomarkers, and the influence of HIV infection on lung function trajectory, pulmonary exacerbations, respiratory symptoms, sleep quality, and habitual sleep duration.

Neurocognitive Aims

To describe the pattern and profile of cognitive impairment and their associated risk factors and risk modifiers.

Aging Aims

To investigate: a) longitudinal changes in physical function and factors influencing these changes; b) the incidence of geriatric conditions, including multimorbidity, and factors influencing these conditions; c) molecular and biochemical markers of aging; and d) the biology of healthy or successful aging.

HIV Pathogenesis Aims

To evaluate factors influencing HIV persistence and the long-term latent viral reservoir in blood and tissues of a subset of well-matched HIV-Infected, ART-treated men and women who have long-term plasma viral load suppression. We propose to evaluate the size of the HIV viral reservoir by sex and anatomical location and its relationship with: a) immune cell phenotypes; b) the degree of clonal expansion of latently infected C04 T cells, and c) the microbiome and antiretroviral drug exposure.

Cancer Aims

To determine: a) the incidence of, and risk factors associated with, AIDS and non-AIDS related malignancies; and b) factors (e.g. psychosocial, behavioral, cancer treatment, HIV-related, and comorbidities) associated with cancer survivorship.

Psychosocial Aims

To examine: a) trajectories of vulnerabilities and resiliencies and their relationship to HIV outcomes and comorbidities; and b) mechanisms by which psychosocial/behavioral and structural predictors affect health outcomes.


Health Disparities Aims

By expanding enrollment to men in the Southeast and PLWH elsewhere who are representative of the US epidemic, we will: a) evaluate the effect of personal (e.g., race, sex, education, income) and neighborhood-level characteristics (e.g. census tract-level poverty, county-level income inequality) on achieving prevention and treatment targets for comorbidity outcomes among people with and at higher risk for HIV infection; and b) refine methods for estimating differences in achieving health guideline targets to reduce the incidence of MI and stroke, lung cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.


Platform Aims

To serve as a reliable, valid, and standardized platform for collaborative and independently funded research with investigators within the MWCCS and external investigators by: a) continuing collection of fresh specimens (blood, urine, oral, stool, cervicovaginal lavage, hair and tissue for tumor and reservoir studies) and measuring clinical, immunologic and virologic markers; b) expanding assessments of comorbid conditions and adjudicated clinical outcomes (e.g., cardiovascular, renal, and liver disease, cancer, and death); and c) developing a MACS-WIHS omics platform (e.g. genome, microbiome).


Career Development Aims

To foster the development of early career investigators from pre-doctoral students to post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty interested in HIV research and to engage early established investigators not currently conducting HIV-related research in innovative HIV-related studies leveraging the platform of the MWCCS.


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