Multimorbidity is defined as the co-existence of multiple health conditions in one person. However, its use in research has been predominantly applied to non-communicable diseases, because research was conducted almost exclusively in developed countries. More recently, infectious diseases of long duration, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), have also been included in the conceptualization of multimorbidity. While multimorbidity is a growing area of research globally; much less is known about the phenomenon in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) where disease burdens are heavily impacted by HIV.
Health systems and services tend to be constrained in LMICs and information on disease patterns are important to better prioritize services. This commentary aims to describe the changing conceptualization of multimorbidity, the dearth of research into multimorbidity in LMICs and how the knowledge generated by research in LMICs can contribute to the global understanding of multimorbidity.