Twitter Can Be Used to Monitor HIV, Drug-Related Behavior
March 3, 2014
This article was reported by Business Standard.
Business Standard reported on a study that used real-time social media to track HIV incidence and drug-related behaviors as a means of determining HIV outbreaks. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles tested the hypothesis that it may be possible to use data from social media for remote monitoring and surveillance of HIV risk behaviors and potential outbreaks.
The researchers used data from more than 550 million tweets between May 26 and December 9, 2012, to formulate an algorithm to locate words and phrases in the tweets suggesting drug use or potentially high-risk behaviors and drug use. The algorithm found 8,538 tweets indicating risky sexual behavior and 1,342 suggesting stimulant drug use. The researchers then located the tweets' places of origin on a map and tested statistical models to determine whether these areas had reported HIV cases, using geographical data on HIV cases from AIDSVu.Org -- an interactive online map illustrating HIV prevalence in the United States.View Full Article
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