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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 815823, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/815823
Research Article

HIV Clients as Agents for Prevention: A Social Network Solution

1Department of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
2Department of Health, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA
3Faculty of Social Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Received 20 January 2012; Accepted 13 March 2012

Academic Editor: Marjorie Robert-Guroff

Copyright © 2012 Sarah Ssali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

HIV prevention efforts to date have not explored the potential for persons living with HIV to act as change agents for prevention behaviour in their social networks. Using egocentric social network analysis, this study examined the prevalence and social network correlates of prevention advocacy behaviours (discussing HIV in general; encouraging abstinence or condom use, HIV testing, and seeking HIV care) enacted by 39 HIV clients in Uganda. Participants engaged in each prevention advocacy behaviour with roughly 50–70% of the members in their network. The strongest determinant of engaging in prevention advocacy with more of one’s network members was having a greater proportion of network members who knew one’s HIV seropositive status, as this was associated with three of the four advocacy behaviours. These findings highlight the potential for PLHA to be key change agents for HIV prevention within their networks and the importance of HIV disclosure in facilitating prevention advocacy.