The Social Support Networks study is funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) to evaluate how social support networks influence engagement in HIV care. A growing body of literature highlights the potential links between social support and the health status of people with chronic illnesses; however, few studies have quantitatively examined the impact of social networks on engagement in HIV treatment among low-income Latinos and African Americans. For this reason, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of the nature and impact of social support networks on engagement in HIV treatment.
- To describe the engagement patterns in HIV treatments among publicly insured Latinos and African Americans with HIV infection in LA County.
- To describe and evaluate the potential roles of formal and informal social networks in promoting engagement in HIV treatment.
- To test for ethnic differences between Latinos and African Americans in the previous two aims.
This four-year study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the impact of social support networks on engagement in HIV care among publicly insured Latinos and African Americans in LA County. We will accomplish this objective through a qualitative component consisting of collection and analysis in-depth qualitative interviews with 24 HIV-positive patients and a quantitative component consisting of a cross-sectional quantitative survey and medical record abstraction with 400 HIV-positive patients at five public HIV clinics in Los Angeles County.
Amy Rock Wohl, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Wendy Garland, M.P.H, Project Coordinator