n Mousaion - Subject content analysis of HIV / AIDS research in Eastern and Southern Africa, 1980-2005

Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



This paper provides a content analysis of HIV / AIDS research in Eastern and Southern Africa between 1980 and 2005 as indexed in the MEDLINE database, with a view to assisting in the identification of HIV / AIDS indexing terms which can be used to access HIV / AIDS literature. Data were analyzed using Bibexcel software in order to establish the trends in HIV / AIDS research in the two regions. Results indicate that the number of keywords / terms used to index HIV / AIDS research outputs has grown exponentially, thus providing a number of options for accessing HIV / AIDS research findings. The ranking of main subject headings was initially unstable, especially in the 1980s, but had stabilized by the mid-1990s and thereafter. Concerning the sub-fields of HIV / AIDS, it was noted that most research is conducted on epidemiology, prevention and control, transmission, complications, and drug therapy. Drug therapy and antiretrovirals are rapidly emerging as the main areas of HIV / AIDS research, implying that research has shifted from the causal factors and diagnosis (which were the major areas of concern in the 1990s) to the care of those with HIV. Other findings, discussions, conclusions, and recommendations are provided. Areas for further research are also identified.

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