Online Program

Cracked or connected: An exploration of the network of HIV service agencies in baltimore

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Nidhi Khosla, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, School of Health Professions, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Jill A. Marsteller, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: While improving collaboration is a stated goal of the Baltimore city HIV/AIDS Commission, little is known about the actual patterns of collaboration. The objective of this study was to describe the patterns of collaboration among HIV service agencies engaged in HIV prevention, care and treatment in Baltimore city.

Methods: We created a roster of HIV service agencies in Baltimore based on a perusal of referral directories, list of Ryan White sub-grantees and expert opinion. Respondents checked the frequency with which they worked with other agencies mentioned in the roster. They could also nominate other agencies that were not listed, that they worked with closely for HIV issues. These nominees were to be included in the sample if nominated by at least one third of the sample. Network characteristics such as density, centralization and core-periphery were computed with UCINET software.

Results: The network of 57 agencies formed a single component with a density of 39%. When dichotomized at the monthly or higher frequency of interaction, the density reduced to 20%. Twenty agencies were found to form the core of the monthly or higher frequency of interaction network. These agencies also were among the top ten in centrality scores, with a few exceptions. Respondents did not nominate any corporate or schoolbased agencies for inclusion, suggesting that these sectors are being missed from the response to HIV/AIDS.

Conclusions: The HIV service agencies in the city were well connected. Efforts should be aimed to attract school based and corporate agencies into the mix.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain how successful care delivery for HIV/AIDS clients depends on the participation of a diverse range of agencies Discuss the pattern of connections between HIV agencies Assess the degree of connectedness between different agencies

Keyword(s): Access to Care, Health Care Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I collected and analysed the data for this study. I have been engaged in conceptualising and managing HIV/AIDS programs domestically and in India and Bangladesh.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.