Social Support Among HIV Positive Injection Drug Users: Implications to Integrated Intervention for HIV Positives

Authors: Knowlton, Amy1; Hua, Wei2; Latkin, Carl2

Source: AIDS and Behavior, Volume 8, Number 4, December 2004 , pp. 357-363(7)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

The study compared social support networks of HIV seropositive versus seronegative injection drug users (IDUs). Participants were 635 low income African Americans; 47% were HIV seropositive (of whom 17% had AIDS), 45% female, and 45% current drug users. A social network methodology elicited structural, functional, and relational network components. After controlling for confounders, HIV seropositive compared with HIV seronegative IDUs had larger support networks, including more females, kin and sources of instrumental assistance, and marginally more sources of emotional support, though they were less likely to have a sex partner. There was no difference between HIV status and number of active drug users in support networks. Results suggest that HIV seropositive IDUs had mobilized a range of network support but that they also relied on drug using social influences. Findings may have implications to the development of integrated HIV prevention and care intervention that builds on HIV seropositives’ natural support structures.

Keywords: African American; HIV/AIDS; informal caregiving; injection drug users; social support networks

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-004-7320-7

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, Email: aknowlto@jhsph.edu 2: Department of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland,

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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