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April 16, 2002

Nation’s Largest AIDS Study Celebrates 18th Anniversary

The nation’s largest and longest ongoing prospective study of the natural and treated histories of HIV infection in homosexual and bisexual men is celebrating its eighteenth anniversary. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) was established in 1984 with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute. To date, more than 5,000 men have volunteered; participation requires reporting twice yearly to one of the four sites nationwide. 

The Baltimore-based site, located at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and called SHARE (Study to Help the AIDS Research Effort), will host a dinner celebration on Wednesday, April 17, 2002.  Investigators, study participants, and staff will come together to celebrate the project, which has revealed much of what we know about the natural history of HIV and AIDS, and to honor the participants for their long-standing dedication to the project.

Over the years, the MACS provided critical data about how HIV is transmitted, what happens early in the course of HIV infection, how AIDS develops, and how and when treatments to prevent AIDS can be used most effectively and safely.  Data from the MACS have been the basis of more than 780 publications in peer-reviewed journals. MACS investigators have continued to follow the path of the volunteers, through major advances in the treatment of HIV, including the approval of protease inhibitors and the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid-1990s.

Recently, investigators reopened enrollment in the study, to learn more about new effective therapies for HIV infections.  For more information on enrollment, please visit http://www.statepi.jhsph.edu/macs/macs.html or call Matthew Lindberg at 410.955.7090.

 Reporters are invited to attend the dinner. Study investigators and volunteers will be available for interviews. Please contact Ming Tai at 410.955.6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu for more information.