The WIHS, which is co-sponsored by the NICHD Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch (MPIDB) (formerly the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch) and four other NIH Institutes, began in 1993 to investigate the impact of HIV infection on women in the United States. It is the largest and longest ongoing U.S. study of HIV-infected women. The NICHD has been cofunding the WIHS since 1993. In addition, the study receives support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, the National Center for Research Resources, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health currently serves as the study's Data Management and Analysis Center (DMAC).
To date, the WIHS has enrolled more than 2,700 HIV-infected women and about 1,000 uninfected women; most of those enrolled are women of color.
In general, this study aims to trying to understand the following:
- Unique ways HIV/AIDS affects women
- Ways successful treatments for HIV/AIDS affect women
- Relationship between HIV/AIDS and other diseases, such as hepatitis C virus infection
- Impact of hormonal factors on HIV disease
- Bronx Consortia: Montefiore Medical Center
- Brooklyn Consortia: State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
- Chicago Consortia: Hektoen Institute of Medicine
- Los Angeles Consortia: University of Southern California
- Northern California Consortia: University of California, San Francisco
- Washington DC Consortia: Georgetown University
- John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (DMAC)