Navigation Links
Social media may prove useful in prevention of HIV, STDs, study shows
Date:2/7/2013

Facebook and other social networking technologies could serve as effective tools for preventing HIV infection among at-risk groups, new UCLA research suggests.

In a study published in the February issue of the peer-reviewed journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, researchers found that African American and Latino men who have sex with men voluntarily used health-related Facebook groups, which were created by the study's investigators, to discuss such things as HIV knowledge, stigma and prevention and ultimately to request at-home HIV testing kits.

"Researchers, policymakers and public health professionals are hoping that social media can be used as a tool for improving health research and solving health and HIV preventionrelated issues," said principal investigator Sean Young, an assistant professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "This study helps direct us toward that goal by suggesting that participants will use social media to learn about HIV prevention and that those who talk about HIV prevention over social networking groups are not just talking about it they are acting on their words by getting an HIV test."

The study also demonstrates that social networking can be a useful tool for collecting and analyzing data, added Young, who is a member of the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) at UCLA.

"Having one platform that allows multiple types of data collection and analysis can save money and improve the accuracy of research findings," he said.

The researchers recruited African American and Latino men who have sex with men, either through banner ads placed on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, through a Facebook fan page with study information, through banner ads and posts on Craigslist, and from venues such as bars, schools, gyms and community organizations in Los Angeles. They also recruited study subjects from other population groups to add diversity to the study group.

African American men who have sex with men have been shown to have a disproportionately high risk of becoming infected with HIV, and Latino men are also at high risk, the researchers said.

In total, 112 participants were recruited, nearly 90 percent of whom were African American or Latino, for the 12-week intervention and one-year follow-up after. The average age was 31.

Participants were randomly assigned on Facebook to either a general health group or a secret HIV-prevention group one that could not be accessed or searched for by non-group members.

The researchers found that participants in the HIV-prevention group freely discussed HIV-related topics such as prevention, testing, knowledge, stigma and advocacy. Those over the age of 31 were more likely to discuss prevention, testing, stigma and advocacy topics, while younger members were more interested in HIV knowledgerelated discussions.

In addition, participants who posted about prevention and testing had over 11 times the odds of requesting an HIV testing kit than participants who did not discuss those topics.

Given that all the study participants were from Los Angeles, the findings may not apply to men from other areas, the researchers noted.

Still, the findings suggest that social networking technologies can help increase HIV and STD-related communication among African American and Latino men who have sex with men.

"Participants frequently and willingly used social networking groups to initiate HIV-related conversations, and HIV/STD preventionrelated conversations were associated with increased requests for home-based HIV tests," the researchers write. "As social networking usage continues to grow among at-risk populations, it becomes important to understand how to use these innovative and engaging social technologies for population-focused STD prevention."


'/>"/>

Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Social ties have mixed impact on encouraging healthy behaviors in low-income areas
2. Social Factors May Affect Lifespan More Than Race, Location
3. University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work announces partnership with MD Anderson
4. Alcohol abuse may be cause, rather than effect of social isolation, poor grades among teens
5. Avatars may help children with social anxiety overcome fears
6. Sleep Apnea in Teens Linked to Social, Behavioral Woes
7. Social-class discrimination contributes to poorer health
8. Teen Drinkers May Feel Like Social Outcasts: Study
9. New Anthropology and Archaeology Resources Published at Sciences Social Network
10. Social Smoking Announces New Product Line of E-Cig Liquids
11. Social Media Strategies and Solutions — Straight from the Experts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... In the United States alone, up to 36% ... other types of metastatic brain tumors(3). Though most meningiomas are benign, metastatic brain tumors ... finding more effective treatment options, the San Diego Gamma Knife Center offers ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... Full Contact ... founder of Pet Protect Law that assists dog owners in creating legally-enforceable ... new owners in taking the natural next step to protect their new companion. Says ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 30, 2017 , ... CHARM CITY RUN ... Run has announced that Mercy Medical Center will serve as the official title sponsor ... region. On Sunday, June 25, 2017, thousands of women will walk or run the ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... called the "Spice of Life" or "Wonder Spice", it has been used for thousands ... use in the East," says Heshelow, author of " Turmeric: How to Use it ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... 29, 2017 , ... Wells Pharmacy Network, a proud A4M ... upcoming World Congress, in Hollywood Florida April 6-8, 2017. , Ben David, CEO ... leader in the training of physicians, scientists, and members of the public on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... N.J. , March 29, 2017  Glenmark ... results for GSP 301, an investigational fixed-dose combination ... (665 mcg) administered twice-daily as a nasal spray ... rhinitis. These results are from a recently completed ... of GSP 301 combination therapy versus mometasone, olopatadine ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC ("Maxor"), a leading pharmacy ... Leah Bailey as General Counsel.  Bailey will serve as ... With more than 13 years of experience in ... health care, Bailey joins the Maxor team coming from ... the PBM, Specialty, and Mail Order business areas on ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... PALO ALTO, Calif. , March 29, 2017 ... that it will report results for the second quarter of ... Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  The news release will be followed ... p.m. PT.  The news release and a link to the ... at: www.varian.com/investor .  To access the teleconference call and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: