Social Network Approaches to Recruitment, HIV Prevention, Medical Care, and Medication Adherence
: This article reviews the current issues and advancements in social network approaches to HIV prevention and care. Social network analysis can provide a method to understand health disparities in HIV rates, treatment access, and outcomes. Social network analysis is a valuable tool to link social structural factors to individual behaviors. Social networks provide an avenue for low-cost and sustainable HIV prevention interventions that can be adapted and translated into diverse populations. Social networks can be utilized as a viable approach to recruitment for HIV testing and counseling, HIV prevention interventions, optimizing HIV medical care, and medication adherence. Social network interventions may be face-to-face or through social media. Key issues in designing social network interventions are contamination due to social diffusion, network stability, density, and the choice and training of network members. There are also ethical issues involved in the development and implementation of social network interventions. Social network analyses can also be used to understand HIV transmission dynamics.