The WIHS, 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. The study receives support from theNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the National Cancer Institute; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and the National Institute of Mental Health.
The purpose of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study, currently in its 5th cycle of funding, is to characterize the long-term, natural and treated history of HIV infection in the current cohort of women, and recruit and retain new women into the cohort to provide insight into the changing demographics of the HIV epidemic among women in the U.S. WIHS V includes 10 clinical sites in and around 10 cities in the United States; the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health currently serves as the study's Data Management and Analysis Center (DMAC).
The WIHS is currently following 3,090 women who are HIV-infected and 1,047 HIV-uninfected women at risk for acquiring HIV, most of whom are women of color. WIHS has published more than 550 scientific papers. The study has charted the course of HIV disease in treated and untreated women across the United States through detailed clinical, biological, neurocognitive, and behavioral assessments; comparisons of HIV-infected and uninfected women; and studies of HIV-infected women receiving treatment.