AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 947–962 | Cite as

“My YAP Family”: Analysis of a Facebook Group for Young Adults Living with HIV

  • Anna Gaysynsky
  • Kathryn Romansky-Poulin
  • Stephen Arpadi
Original Paper


Little research exists regarding the use of social networking sites, like Facebook, for improving patient well-being. The aim of this study was to evaluate a private Facebook group established for members of an HIV clinic’s young adult program. This study employed directed content analysis to examine the types and frequencies of interactions observable in the 3,838 posts and comments that appeared on the Facebook group page between March 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012. Analysis revealed that a large percentage (41.7 %) of the content was classified as “administrative/engagement in group” and functioned to enhance the operations of the program as a whole. Additionally, positive interactions were frequently observed, especially socializing (24.8 %), banter (20.2 %), and offers of social support (15.1 %). Emotional support was the most frequent type of support requested, while esteem support was the most commonly provided form of support. The results of this study demonstrate that a Facebook group can be a means of providing patients with social support and positive social interaction and can improve services for young adults with HIV.


Social support HIV Adolescent health Social media 



The authors wish to thank Joyce Park, Zachariah Hennessey, Jason Euren, Drs. Marita Murrman and Mari Millery, and all the members of the Young Adult Program who were part of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Gaysynsky
    • 1
  • Kathryn Romansky-Poulin
    • 2
  • Stephen Arpadi
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Spencer Cox Center for HealthSt. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, College of Physicians & SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, G.H. Sergievsky CenterColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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