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Medical News

Accessing Social Networks With High Rates of Undiagnosed HIV Infection: The Social Networks Demonstration Project

July 20, 2009

The study authors "evaluated the use of social networks to reach persons with undiagnosed HIV infection in ethnic minority communities and link them to medical care and HIV prevention services."

In seven cities, CDC funded nine community-based groups in an effort to enlist persons with HIV to refer others from their social, sexual or drug-using networks for HIV testing; to provide HIV counseling, testing, and referral services; and to link HIV-positive and high-risk HIV-negative persons to appropriate medical care and prevention services.

From Oct. 1, 2003, to Dec. 31, 2005, 422 recruiters referred 3,172 of their peers for HIV services. Of the persons referred, 177 were found to be HIV-positive; 63 percent of those who were infected were successfully linked to medical care and prevention services. "The HIV prevalence of 5.6 percent among those recruited in this project was significantly higher than the approximately 1 percent identified in other counseling, testing, and referral sites funded by [CDC]," the authors noted.

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A peer-driven approach is highly effective and can serve to identify persons with undiagnosed HIV infection in high-risk networks, concluded the investigators.

Back to other news for July 2009

Adapted from:
American Journal of Public Health
06.2009; Vol. 99; No. 6: P. 1093-1099; Lisa W. Kimbrough, MS; Holly E. Fisher, PhD; Kenneth T. Jones, MSW; Wayne Johnson, MPH; Sekhar Thadiparthi, BS; Samuel Dooley, MD


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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