Repositioning implementation science in the HIV response: looking ahead from AIDS 2018

James Hargreaves, Shona Dalal, Brian Rice, Nanina Anderegg, Parinita Bhattacharjee, Mitzy Gafos, Bernadette Hensen, Collin Mangenah, Matthew Quaife, Nancy Padian

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Background: Implementation science (IS) occupies a critical place in HIV/AIDS research, reflected by a scientific track ("Track E") at the biannual International AIDS Conference. IS seeks to identify health delivery strategies that cost-effectively translate the efficacy of evidence-based interventions for HIV prevention, testing, and treatment into impact on HIV incidence, quality of life, and mortality.

Method: We reviewed the content of Track E, and other presentations relevant to IS, at the 22nd International AIDS Conference held in Amsterdam in 2018. We identified key findings and themes and made recommendations for areas where the field can be strengthened by the 2020 meeting.

Results: Trials of "treat all" strategies in Africa showed mixed evidence of effect. Innovations in HIV testing included expanding self-testing and index testing, which are reaching groups, such as men, where previously testing rates have been low. Adherence clubs and other innovations are being trialed to improve retention in care, with mixed findings. The implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention continues but with many challenges remaining in identifying implementation strategies that strengthen demand and support continuation.

Discussion: IS for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention continues to expand. IS for primary HIV prevention must be prioritized with a dearth of rigorous, intersectoral studies in this area. The weakness of routine data must be addressed. Costing and financing studies should form a stronger component of the conference agenda. Implementation scientists must continue to grapple with the methodological challenges posed by the real-world context for their research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue numberSuppl 3
Pages (from-to)S299-S304
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • HIV Infections/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Implementation Science
  • Primary Prevention/organization & administration


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