A Living Database of HIV Implementation Research (LIVE Project): Protocol for Rapid Living Reviews

Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Nathan Ford, Noelle Le Tourneau, Stefan Baral, Sheree Schwartz, Christopher Kemp, Elvin Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: HIV implementation research evolves rapidly and is often complex and poorly characterized, which makes the synthesis of data on HIV implementation strategies inherently difficult. This is further compromised by prolonged data abstraction processes due to variable interventions, outcomes, and context, and delays in the publication of review findings; this can all result in outdated and irrelevant systematic reviews. Objective: The LIVE project (A Living Database of HIV Implementation Research) aims to overcome these challenges by applying an implementation science lens to the conduct of rapid living systematic reviews and meta-analyses to inform HIV service delivery priorities and guideline development. Methods: The LIVE project will generate a series of living systematic reviews exploring implementation strategies for improving HIV cascade outcomes (HIV infection, HIV diagnosis, linkage and retention in HIV care, viral suppression, and mortality). We will search Embase and MEDLINE as well databases specific to review questions for studies conducted after 2004 using predefined search terms to identify studies conducted in any age group or setting, and using implementation strategies that target policy makers, society, health organizations, health workers, and beneficiaries of care and their families. Both randomized controlled trials and observational studies will be included to ensure reviews include pragmatic data. In addition to assessments of methodological quality, features of the implementation strategies, relevance for implementation, and evidence quality will be determined using recognized frameworks. After initial publication, knowledge gaps will be identified, and review questions and search strategies revised to address ongoing critical areas of inquiry. Updated searches will be conducted every 6 months, with subsequent ongoing screening, data abstraction, and revision of meta-analyses. Results: As of July 2022, five reviews are at various stages of development within the LIVE project. Three systematic reviews are underway and living review processes are in development for two reviews with estimated completion over the next 12 months. Conclusions: This project and resulting systematic reviews will provide critical insights for HIV service delivery to inform international guideline development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere37070
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • HIV
  • HIV infection
  • implementation
  • living review
  • rapid review
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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