Network Insights into Implementing Peer-Based HIV Prevention for Homeless Youth
Methods: Data were collected from two populations of RHY recruited from drop-in centers in Los Angeles, every six months for one year (Network 1: n= 237, 263, 312; Network 2: n=138, 149, 131). For each panel a sociomatrix was generated based on youth nominating other youth in the sample. Eigenvector centrality, which models prominence with respect to direct and indirect ties, was used to assess if more network centrality was associated with reports of past 6-month HIV testing.
Results: In both networks, a consistent structure was observed overtime despite high turnover in individual membership in the networks. For network 1, 44% returned in panel 2, and 42% repeated between panels 2 and 3. For network 2, 18% returned in panel 2, and 14% repeated between panel 2 and 3. In Network 1, more central positions were associated with increased reports of recent HIV testing in all waves and in wave 2 and 3 for Network 2.
Conclusions: Despite the transience of particular network members over time, highly central positions in RHY networks are consistently occupied by youth who reported more HIV testing. Network-based HIV prevention interventions that target HIV testing, such as POL, may be effectively implemented if highly central RHY are recruited as peer leaders.
Learning Areas:Biostatistics, economics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Identify social network processes that can inform HIV prevention intervention implementation strategies for homeless youth.
Keyword(s): Homelessness, HIV/AIDS
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor doing research in public health and social work
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.