Evolution of interdisciplinary landscapes of HIV/AIDS studies from 1983 to 2017: Results from the global analysis for policy in research (GAPresearch)

Bach X. Tran, Frank Y. Wong, Kiet T. Huy-Pham, Carl A. Latkin, Giang Hai-Ha, Giang Thu-Vu, Cyrus S.H. Ho, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, there have been numerous calls by researchers to adopt multi-disciplinary and international perspectives to address the HIV pandemic. Meaningful and prudent public health policy should be based on sound empirical data and research. Henceforth, our study aims to contribute to the current literature by conducting a comprehensive global mapping and determine the landscapes of HIV/AIDS research covering the years between 1983 and 2017. Bibliometric and content analysis was used to describe trends in research productivity, usages, research collaborations, and clusters of research topics. Exploratory factor analysis, Jaccard’s similarity index, and Ward dendrogram were applied to ab-stracts’ contents to determine the development of interdisciplinary research landscapes. The United States of America continues to lead in research production and be main hub for author-and country-level collaborations. Research employing an epidemiological, social, and/or behavioral perspective for studying HIV/AIDS was found to dwarf in the presence of basic and biomedical HIV research. Interdisciplinary approaches to HIV research have been increasing with the creation of various research landscapes: strong constructs of studies examining health status, clinical responses, and HIV treatment, risk behaviors have been formed, while research topics relating to psycho-behavioral and cultural aspects as well as services have emerged along. To effectively prevent and control the disease, more researches are needed to provide culturally relevant and/or contextualized evidence of effective inter-ventions. It is also necessary to enhance the ability and partnership of local researchers as well as invest in research infrastructure at national and regional levels to implement high-quality studies since they are the “gate-keepers” who could respond to local changes in a timely manner. These types of research could be a helpful guide for international donors, governments, and academicians to set up research priorities in target groups and settings, and to develop future research agendas globally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • AIDS
  • Global
  • HIV
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Policy
  • Scientometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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