Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Challenging HIV through social networking

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Tapping into young people’s use of online social networks presents health agencies with a powerful opportunity to help control the rise in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in homeless youth in Los Angeles. According to new research, online social networking - and the topics discussed on these networks - have the potential to affect sexual risk behaviors.

Tapping into young people's use of online social networks presents health agencies with a powerful opportunity to help control the rise in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in homeless youth in Los Angeles. According to new research by Sean Young from UCLA and Eric Rice from USC in the US, online social networking -- and the topics discussed on these networks -- have the potential to affect sexual risk behaviors. T

Related Articles


argeting homeless youths with sexual health messages, by exploiting their use of these networks, is likely to be an effective way to reach and influence them to reduce sexual risk behaviors. The study is published online in Springer's journalAIDS and Behavior.

The rise in usage of online social networks among young people makes it easier for them to find sex partners online. Homeless youths are at higher risk of HIV than other adolescents in the US. In order to promote healthy sexual behaviors and prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it is important to understand the role that online social networking technologies play in the lives of these young people who face disproportionate risk.

A total of 201 youths, recruited at a drop-in agency serving homeless youth in Los Angeles, California, took part in the survey. The young people were asked about their use of the Internet and online social networks -- including their topics of conversation online, their sexual risk behaviors, their lifetime history of testing for STIs, and their knowledge about HIV and STIs.

The majority (79 percent) of participants used online social networks almost every week and they were particularly likely to use MySpace and/or Facebook. When using these networks, young people frequently talked to others about videos, drinking, drugs and parties, sex, love and relationships, being homeless, and school experiences. Almost 80 percent had previously tested for STIs.

The findings tell two stories. On the one hand, the use of online social networks for partner seeking is associated with an increase in sexual risk behaviors. On the other hand, the use of social networks is associated with increased knowledge and HIV/STI prevention behaviors among homeless youth.

Young and Rice conclude: "Our findings suggest that online social networks are popular among homeless youth, and that they can be used as a tool for sexual health interventions. As online social networks continue to increase, these networks could potentially increase sexual risk behaviors by facilitating an easy way to meet new sex partners. They could also potentially decrease homeless youths' sexual risk behaviors if the networks are used as effective sexual health communication and information portals by health researchers and agencies, to inform users about their risks and offer information on how they can protect themselves."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sean D. Young, Eric Rice. Online Social Networking Technologies, HIV Knowledge, and Sexual Risk and Testing Behaviors Among Homeless Youth. AIDS and Behavior, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s10461-010-9810-0

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Challenging HIV through social networking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093223.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2010, December 6). Challenging HIV through social networking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093223.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Challenging HIV through social networking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093223.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins