National women’s HIV study comes to UAB

Study examines how HIV affects the health of women.

Mirjam-Collete Kempf, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Michael Saag, M.D., received a $3 million, five-year award to join the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS). Saag is serving as principal investigator at UAB and a sister site at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Kempf is co-principal investigator. Recruitment begins at UAB this October.

The WIHS is a longitudinal study that examines how HIV affects the health of women; it is also the longest running study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for women's health and HIV.

Established in 1993, the WIHS cohort originally had no representation from southern states, despite the heavy HIV disease burdens in the South. Recognizing the need, the NIH approved bringing the study to UAB and its sister site in Jackson, Miss.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Miami, Fla.

“WIHS is one of the premiere HIV cohorts in the country, and we are very pleased to be a part of it,” said Saag.

For UAB’s cohort, 100 women between the ages 25-60 years old will be needed; 75 of those HIV-positive. Study enrollment will take place at the 1917 Clinic.