Five Common Myths Limiting Engagement in HIV-Related Implementation Research

Laura K. Beres, Sheree Schwartz, Aaloke Mody, Elvin H. Geng, Stefan Baral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract:HIV-related implementation research holds great promise in achieving the potential of efficacious prevention and treatment tools in reducing the incidence of HIV and improving HIV treatment outcomes among people living with HIV. From the perspectives of HIV-related implementation research training and academia and through consultations with funders and investigators new to implementation research, we identified 5 myths that act as barriers to engagement in implementation research among new investigators. Prevailing myths broadly include (1) one must rigidly apply all aspects of an implementation framework for it to be valid, (2) implementation research limits the type of designs available to researchers, (3) implementation strategies cannot be patient-level or client-level approaches, (4) only studies prioritizing implementation outcomes are "true" implementation research, and (5) if not explicitly labeled implementation research, it may have limited impact on implementation. We offer pragmatic approaches to negotiate these myths with the goal of encouraging dialog, ensuring high-quality research, and fostering a more inclusive and dynamic field of implementation research. Ultimately, the goal of dispelling these myths was to lower the perceived bar to engagement in HIV-related implementation research while still ensuring quality in the methods and measures used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S41-S45
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • HIV
  • implementation research
  • implementation science
  • outcomes frameworks
  • theory


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