Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) is one of the first and largest studies dedicated to examining the natural history of AIDS. The MACS has followed the lives of nearly 5,000 HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore and Pittsburgh for more than three decades through twice-annual assessments.

Data and specimens collected at semiannual study visits include: detailed questions covering sexual practices, HIV-related symptoms, and utilization of health services, demographic and psychosocial characteristics, a quality of life survey, a physical examination, a detailed form on medications used as prophylaxis and/or treatment, a neuropsychological screening and examination, blood samples to measure hematologic variables including enumeration of T-cell subsets and HIV viral load, and the allocation of samples to be sent to the National Repository. These specimens are invaluable for helping to understand the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection.

MACS, through the breadth of its scientific accomplishments, has guided public health policy and the care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS. Data from the MACS have been the basis of more than 1,300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and have helped to greatly advance our ability to address the key questions facing HIV research today, including the effects of HIV, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), and age on HIV-induced inflammation and immune dysfunction and on non-AIDS-defining outcomes including cancer, cardiovascular, liver, metabolic, neurologic, psychologic, and renal disease.

To access the MACS website and data: Click Here   

Roger Detels

Department of Epidemiology