The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is a multicenter longitudinal study funded by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Cancer Institute, and National Institute of Mental Health) to investigate the progression of HIV disease in women. As of December 2012, over 2,297 women were reported in active follow-up (completed the last visit).

Until 2012 WIHS was conducted at six clinical sites, including a New York City Consortium; the State University of New York at Brooklyn; a Washington, D.C., Consortium; a Los Angeles, Southern California Consortium; a San Francisco/Bay Area Consortium, and a Chicago Consortium. Since 1998, the WIHS Data Management and Analysis Center (WDMAC) has been located at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Beginning in January 2013, with WIHS V, the Los Angeles, Southern California Consortium was closed and four new sites in the Southern U.S. were added, including sites in Atlanta, Georgia; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; and Birmingham, Alabama/Jackson, Mississippi.

All study participants undergo an initial screening to determine study eligibility. If the study participant is willing to take part in the study and gives informed consent, she will participate in an in-depth interview, physical exam, and specimen collection.

The data collected at each visit will include the following: medical and health history, obstetric/gynecological and contraceptive history, health care utilization, sexual behavior, usage of drugs and alcohol, psychosocial factors, sociodemographics, laboratory parameters and a physical and gynecological examination.

Until the most recent expansions, which added four new Southern sites, WIHS was a closed cohort of women from three prior enrollment waves:

WAVE 1 cohort inception between 1994–1995 in which 2,625 women were enrolled (2,056 HIV-infected [including those with AIDS or low CD4 cell count] and 569 HIV-negative women)

WAVE 2 cohort expansion in 2001–2002 in which 1,143 additional women were enrolled (254 HIV-positive [no AIDS and HAART naïve]; 484 HIV-positive [no AIDS prior to HAART/HAART experienced]; and 406 HIV-negative women)

WAVE 3 cohort replenishment during 2011-2012, when existing clinical sites began to recruit new participants to replace those who had died since 2000 (target of 292 HIV-positive women [age 30–55 years, either HAART naïve or started HAART with a regimen that did not include ddI or d4T] and 121 HIV-negative women age 35–60 years with one or more risk factors for HIV-infection).

GENERAL WIHS RESOURCES

WIHS Dossier (.pdf): This slide set summarizes key study characteristics and scientific contributions of the WIHS.

WIHS Public Website: Information about WIHS, NCAB, and past/current research.

NIAID WIHS Webpage: This website was developed during the most current proposal cycle and offers a succinct overview of the administration of WIHS.