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More than 7,000 gay and bisexual male volunteers have been integral in
researching and tracking the progression of HIV through the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Multicenter AIDS Study
since its inception 25 years ago.
"It has been extraordinary, the amount of knowledge [MACS] has provided for us," NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
Of the 7,000 men who have become involved in the study throughout its course, some have died and others have dropped out, with new participants recruited periodically. There are currently over 2,500 men involved in the ongoing study, according to the article.
More than 1,000 papers have been published and many new therapies and breakthroughs have been discovered as a result of the study.
The men are categorized into three groups -- HIV-positive, HIV-negative, and those whose virus has progressed to an AIDS diagnosis -- and they undergo two annual physicals and answer a series of questions about sexual partners, life activity, and condom use, culminating in 8,500 pieces of information from each participant.