Study of Treatment and Reproductive Health in Women 

The Study of Treatment and Reproductive Health in Women (STAR) cohort seeks to answer questions related to the effects of HIV infection and HIV-related medical conditions on women of reproductive age. It builds on the work of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), which was developed in 1993 and is one of the largest federally funded longitudinal cohort studies comprising of almost 4,000 women living with HIV (WLWH) or at-risk for HIV infection. Recently, WIHS transitioned to combine with the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), which is a cohort of gay and bisexual men, to form the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MWCCS). Utilizing the backbone of the MWCCS, STAR was developed to obtain information on reproductive age WLWH and those at risk for HIV infection, focusing on the Southern region of the US.

STAR study sites will recruit and retain 2,000 reproductive age women who are HIV-positive and HIV-negative. The STAR cohort protocol will be conducted in the 5 Southern MWCCS (Miami, FL, Washington, DC, Chapel Hill, NC, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL/Jackson, MS) sites and will leverage the MWCCS structure, including access to

participants, standardized assessments, specimen collections, data management, leadership committees, community advisory boards, and scientific working groups.

Aadia Rana, MD

Associate Professor, Medicine–Infectious Diseases

UAB MWCCS Co-Investigator

STAR Principal Investigator 

STAR clinical research visits will rigorously collect socio-behavioral, clinical, and outcome data as well as biospecimens (i.e. serum, plasma, cells, urine, cervical, hair and oral) to promote multidisciplinary HIV/AIDS research. The cohort’s research efforts seek to respond to the distinctive health needs of reproductive age WLWH. The STAR cohort has the potential to ultimately improve the health of young WLWH, optimize the gains of HIV treatments, and contribute to ending of the HIV epidemic in the United States.

The Birmingham, AL STAR study visits will occur at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) within the 1917 outpatient clinic. This is the same location as the location of the Birmingham MWCCS clinical research site. The Jackson Medical Mall is the home of the Jackson, MS STAR study site, which is located near the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). A total of 395 women (HIV-positive and HIV-negative) will matriculate into the combined Birmingham/Jackson STAR cohort. Women within the ages of 18-45, HIV-positive and HIV-negative, and those willing to participate in a 3-year research study are eligible for enrollment. Enrollment in Birmingham and Jackson is set to begin in late fall of 2020.

For information on the STAR cohort click HERE


If you have questions or would like additional information please contact the study’s Principal Investigator Dr. Aadia Rana at 205-934-3411 and/or site Project Directors Dr. Zenoria Causey Pruitt (UAB) at 205-975-9128 or Ms. Venetra McKinney (UMMC) at 601-815-5187.