Social support among HIV positive injection drug users: Implications to integrated intervention for HIV positives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The study compared social support networks of HIV seropositive versus seronegative injection drug users (IDUs). Participants were 635 low income African Americans; 47% were HIV seropositive (of whom 17% had AIDS), 45% female, and 45% current drug users. A social network methodology elicited structural, functional, and relational network components. After controlling for confounders, HIV seropositive compared with HIV seronegative IDUs had larger support networks, including more females, kin and sources of instrumental assistance, and marginally more sources of emotional support, though they were less likely to have a sex partner. There was no difference between HIV status and number of active drug users in support networks. Results suggest that HIV seropositive IDUs had mobilized a range of network support but that they also relied on drug using social influences. Findings may have implications to the development of integrated HIV prevention and care intervention that builds on HIV seropositives' natural support structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004



  • African American
  • Informal caregiving
  • Injection drug users
  • Social support networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this