HIV dementia: A bibliometric analysis and brief review of the top 100 cited articles


Dementia is a syndrome of cognitive impairment that affects an individual’s ability to live independently. The number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2015 was estimated at 47.47 million. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) criteria for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated dementia (HAD) require an acquired abnormality in at least two cognitive (non-motor) domains and either an abnormality in motor function or specified neuropsychiatric/psychosocial domains. HIV is the most common cause of dementia below 60 years of age.

Citation frequencies are commonly used to assess the scholarly impact of any scientific publication in bibliometric analyses. It helps depict areas of higher interest in terms of research frequency and trends of citations in the published literature and identify under-explored domains of any field, providing useful insight and guidance for future research avenues. We used the database “Web of Science” (WOS) to search for the top 100 cited articles on HIV-associated dementia. The keywords “HIV dementia” and “HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders” (HAND) were used. The list was generated by two authors after excluding articles not pertaining to HIV dementia. The articles were then assigned to authors to extract data to make tables and graphical representations. Finally, the manuscript was organized and written describing the findings of the bibliometric study.

These 100 most cited articles on HIV dementia were published between years 1986 and 2016. The highest number of the articles was from 1999 (n=9). The year 1993–2007 contributed consistently two publications to the list. The articles are from 42 journals, and among them, the Annals of Neurology (n=16) and the Journal of Neurology (n=15) published most of the articles. Justin C. McArthur with 25 publications contributed the highest number of papers to the list by any author. The USA collaborated in the highest number of publications (n=87). American institutes were leading the list with the most publications. The Johns Hopkins University collaborated on 37 papers. The most widely studied aspect of HIV dementia was pathogenesis. Incidence and prevalence, clinical features, and pre- and post-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era were also discussed in the articles.

Beyond America, the research should be expanded to low-income countries and those affected more by HIV. Therefore, other countries and their institutes should participate more in HIV-associated dementia research. Anticipating the rising resistance to existing antiretrovirals, we should develop new therapeutic options. There is room for research in many aspects of HIV dementia care.


Hussain T, Corraes A, Walizada K, Khan R, Thamara Kunnath J, Khan T, Salman Zahid A, Mushtaq Z, Bhagia M, Bhure VR




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Neurocognitive disorders


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