Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will receive $19.4 million over the next seven years to continue their research on chronic illnesses that often accompany human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, including cardiovascular and lung diseases, diabetes and cancers.
Almost half of people with HIV in the United States are over the age of 50 and are more likely to suffer from chronic HIV-related illnesses than infectious complications. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected UNC as one of the 13 Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study / Women’s Interagency HIV Study Combined Cohort Study (MACS/WIHS-CCS) sites after a competitive application process.
The initiative builds on previous research from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohorts Study (MACS), the largest and longest-running research cohorts of women and men, respectively, with HIV or at risk for HIV infection in the U.S. Now, the NIH will merge the two studies.
The newly consolidated study will include current participants from the WIHS and MACS cohorts, as well as newly recruited participants from groups that were underrepresented in previous studies, including African-American and Hispanic populations and residents of southern states. The UNC site will enroll between 200 and 250 participants.
Dr. Adaora Adimora, professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the principal investigator of the UNC site.
“The southern U.S. is greatly impacted by the HIV epidemic, so it is essential for studies to include people from this region,” said Dr. Adimora. “We look forward to better understanding and remedying the comorbidities and diseases of aging that affect so many people with HIV in this phase of the epidemic.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 15