Social Networks and HIV Risk Behaviors of Special Populations of Drug Users

Grants and Contracts Details


The primary goal of this K02 application is to further develop Dr. Carrie Oser's productive independent research career and to augment her research focus on HIV, substance abuse treatment, crime, and health disparities by gaining training in two new areas: social networks and HIV intervention development. The K02 builds upon her focus on special populations, including both rural drug users and African American drug users. The proposed training goals will provide new instruction in social networks, HIV intervention development, and the responsible conduct of research. The specific aims are: (1) to identify HIV and HCV risk and longitudinal changes in risk in the social networks of 503 rural out-of-treatment drug using women, as compared to men; and (2) to examine the effect of social networks, including structure (e.g., size, density), function (e.g., emotional and instrument support), and content (e.g., attitudes towards physicians), on HIV and HCV risk behaviors and health services utilization among African American drug using women, as compared to men, across criminal justice status. This significant and innovative study will have strong public health impacts and will support NIDA's Health Disparities Initiative because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of the cultural and social network correlates of health disparities among both rural and African American drug users. In addition, this study improves upon the methodological limitations of previous research findings by examining various social networks (e.g., egocentric, dyadic, and sociocentric) and using longitudinal data in multilevel models. This proposed project will allow for a practical application of the substantive knowledge and analytical skills acquired from the K02 training activities and will ultimately culminate in the development of forthcoming investigator initiated NIDA grant applications. Specifically, these findings will be used as a foundation for future HIV social networks based intervention to increase special populations' use of preventative health care and subsequently reduce the need for expensive medical services, as well as to decrease HIV risk behaviors including drug use, unprotected sex, and recidivism.
Effective start/end date7/1/136/30/16


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $347,481.00


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