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NIH multicenter AIDS cohort study commemorates 25 years of discovery
Date:5/6/2009

The longest U.S. study of people with HIV/AIDS will be honored at a 25th anniversary commemoration on May 12, 2009, at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) has significantly contributed to the scientific understanding of HIV, AIDS and the effects of antiretroviral therapy through more than 1,000 publications, many of which have guided public health policy and the clinical care of people with HIV. MACS investigators prospectively study the natural and treated history of HIV infection in thousands of homosexual and bisexual men at sites in Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Guests will hear a keynote address by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH. NIAID and the National Cancer Institute developed the MACS and have been its principal sponsors.

"The MACS has been one of the most rigorous and productive epidemiologic HIV/AIDS studies in history," says Dr. Fauci. "The MACS led key studies that linked sexual behavior to HIV transmission, determined the median period of time between HIV infection and the onset of AIDS, showed that an imbalance of T-cell types precedes AIDS, and made a multitude of other pivotal discoveries that advanced HIV/AIDS research."

An extraordinary characteristic of the MACS is its 25 years of behavioral and biological data and specimens from men who have sex with men, before and after they became infected with HIV, before and after they were diagnosed with AIDS, and before and after they began highly active antiretroviral therapyalong with data from a control group of same-aged, HIV-free men who have sex with men. Comparing these before-and-after specimens and data from HIV-infected and uninfected individuals has yielded numerous seminal discoveries, including:

  • How best to diagnose HIV infection
  • The direct relationship between viral loadt
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Contact: Laura Sivitz
sivitzl@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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