Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)


Led by Mardge Cohen, MD, the Chicago WIHS site was initiated in 1993. The Chicago WIHS site maintains a cohort of approximately 250 HIV-infected and 50 uninfected at-risk women in order to investigate clinical manifestations, disease progression and outcomes of HIV infection in women. The primary goals of the study are to:

  • determine the spectrum and course of clinical manifestations of HIV infection in women;
  • determine the pattern and rate of decline of CD4+ cells in women and the relationship of CD4+ changes to other immunologic and virologic parameters and to clinical manifestations of HIV infection;
  • investigate factors which may delay or accelerate HIV-induced immune dysfunction and specific manifestations of HIV associated with clinical disease;
  • study factors influencing the length of survival and the quality of life of HIV+ women, with specific attention to age, race, IV and non-IV drug use and drug treatment, health care utilization, mental health counseling, peer support groups, family support, social service entitlements, onsite daycare, in-home care, domestic violence, homelessness, HIV risk group, use and type of antiretroviral therapy, etc;
  • determine the rate of incident HIV sero-conversion and identify the factors which may increase the risk of incident HIV infection among a smaller cohort of high risk women.

Visit the WIHS national website to view and download the WIHS Dossier of key summary statistics & publications (including a searchable database), access investigator tools necessary to establish collaborations, and also link to the CRISP database.