Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Specimen Repositories

The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) collects and stores a variety of biological specimens. Inventory may be housed at the national level, or a subset at the local level. The WIHS Data Management and Analysis Center (WDMAC) coordinates and facilitates completion of specimen requests.

More information about this resource is available at WIHS Specimen Requests and Repository Information

Main Areas of Focus

  • To promote the widest possible range of uses of WIHS specimens for current and future investigations that will expand current understanding of the epidemiology of HIV infection, disease progression, treatment use and outcomes, and related co-morbidities among HIV-positive individuals
  • To provide the platform for other HIV-related NIH-funded grants
  • To enable the evolution of a substantial clinical research database
  • To foster the development of the next generation of observational and clinical epidemiologists by remaining at the forefront in the collection and statistical analysis of observational data


WIHS National/Central Repository

  • Specimen types available (most commonly used):
    • Serum
    • Plasma
    • Viable cells (PBMCs)
    • Dry cell pellets
    • Urine (whole and supernatant)
    • CVL (whole)
    • Cervical swabs
    • Saliva

Local/Clinical Site Repositories

  • Some specimen derivatives are stored locally (hair, stimulated and unstimulated saliva) as well as various subsets of the national specimen inventory
  • If WDMAC deems no National Repository specimens to be available, specimens can be sought from local/clinical site repositories
  • The Clinical Site Principal Investigator or Project Director will coordinate access

WIHS DNA Repository

  • Requests for DNA are submitted to WDMAC
  • Coordinates/completes DNA repository requests
  • DNA and/or existing genomics/GWAS data are available only from participants who provided appropriate consent for genetic studies

Additional WIHS Repository

  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) slides - WDMAC will coordinate access
  • Immortalized B-cell lines created up to July 2004 (program ended thereafter) - only cell pellets will be distributed - WDMAC will coordinate access

Collaboration Opportunities

  • WIHS collaborates extensively with other HIV-related clinical research groups such as the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience (ALIVE), the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) Cohort Consortium, North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD), and the Pathogenesis of HIV in Women Study. These joint efforts have yielded a multitude of publications of high scientific merit.
  • The WIHS Consortium welcomes additional collaborations with investigators and with other cohorts, both nationally and internationally. 

Who Can Use This Resource

Before Submitting a request, investigators should be sure to have:

  • Funding
  • Freezer space
  • Personnel and materials necessary for testing
  • IRB approval to receive specimens
  • For international investigators or non-US based collaborations, pre-approval from the NIH Program Officer (for the specimen recipient’s award, if applicable)  

How To Get Started

  • To request specimens, investigators must follow steps outlined on the WIHS website