What can social science contribute to HIV/AIDS research?

More than 30 years into HIV/AIDS in Africa, new treatment and prevention tools have brought us within reach of ending the epidemic. With this goal in view, many governments and donors are focused on ambitious testing and treatment targets, while global guidelines call for immediate treatment for everyone diagnosed with HIV.

In light of these global targets, the rapid expansion of testing and treatment programs has become a priority in many HIV/AIDS-affected regions. In East Africa, for instance, several large-scale trials are examining different ways of expanding HIV testing and treatment access at the population levels—an approach called universal test and treat. A new issue of AIDS Care examines the critical role that social science research plays in rolling out these ambitious HIV programs.

Dr. Carol Camlin and trial team researchers
Featuring research by several Bixby researchers and partners, this collection of new studies reveals the importance of understanding the social, political, economic and other factors that influence how universal test and treat programs work in different settings. Launched at this week’s 2016 International AIDS Conference in South Africa, this new issue of AIDS Care will be featured at a special session at the conference. Panelists will examine the potential effects of rolling out universal test and treat programs globally, as well as the important role of social science in HIV/AIDS research and programs more broadly.