Infectious Diseases Research

Women, HIV, Immunology, Microbiome and Sexual Health (WHIMS)

With the highest rate of new HIV diagnosis in the United States, South Florida is investigating key health issues associated with factors that make young women more vulnerable to HIV infection. Funded through the National Institute of Health, the University of Miami’s WHIMS examines the heightened risk of HIV and STI contraction faced by women with bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common health condition affecting the female reproductive tract. 

Confronted with an increased risk of 40-60%, women with multiple episodes of BV are more vulnerable to HIV and may have lower efficacy of HIV prevention treatments. Using a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Maria Alcaide, MD and her collaborators are evaluating the behavioral, bacterial, and host biological factors that contribute to BV and its reoccurrence to develop targeted intervention to protect women from the poor health outcomes associated with BV, including HIV acquisition.

To learn more about this study click here or contact us at: 305-243-5435 or

WHIMS has two locations:

UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital
ACC East Building
1611 NW 12th Ave
Miami, FL 33136  
UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital
1800 NW 10th Ave. 
Miami, FL 33136 

Stevenson Lab 

There are approximately 119,661 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Florida (FLDH) and the epicenter for this epidemic is located right here in South Florida. However, the pursuit for a cure to HIV-I infection is one of the most challenging hurdles faced by the HIV/AIDS research community. Despite potent antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV persists and rapidly rebounds if treatment to suppress the virus is interrupted.

Under the guidance of Dr. Mario Stevenson, PhD, and top collaborators the Stevenson Lab focuses on identifying obstacles to curing HIV/AIDS. By understanding how HIV persist and in what forms, researchers are one step closer to developing effective strategies to eliminate HIV/AIDS.

MACS-WIHS Combined Cohort Study

MACS WIHS Team Group Photo

There are 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. With $14 million in funding from the National Institute of Health, the Miami MWCCS is a collaborative research effort aimed at understanding and reducing the impact of chronic health conditions—including heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders—that affect people living with HIV.

A national multicenter research effort, the Miami center’s seven-year project is led by principal investigators Dr. Margaret Fischl, MD, Dr. Deborah Jones Weiss, PhD, MD, and Dr. Maria Alcaide, MD. The study will follow 130 women, including 122 women who were followed under the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), and 130 men with or at risk of HIV infection to understand the impact of chronic health conditions on those with HIV.