Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 602–613 | Cite as

A Social Network Profile and HIV Risk Among Men on Methadone: Do Social Networks Matter?

  • Nabila El-BasselEmail author
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Elwin Wu
  • Mingway Chang


The paper describes structural and HIV-related network characteristics and examines associations between these various social network domains and HIV risk behaviors among a sample of 356 men randomly selected from a methadone maintenance treatment program (MMTP) in New York City. Multiple logistic regression analyses suggest that (1) a higher level of perceived sexual risk among network members, referred to as “alters” in this study, was associated with an increased likelihood of the participant engaging in sexual risk behaviors; (2) participants who indicated that they exchanged encouragement with a higher number of network alters about using condoms were less likely to report engaging in unprotected sex; and (3) participants who indicated that they talked about HIV risks with a higher number of network alters were less likely to engage in unprotected sex in the past 6 months. Collectively, these findings support the notion that networks may influence the adoption of risk reduction strategies in this population. Implications of the findings for HIV prevention network interventions for men in MMTPs are discussed.


HIV Methadone Social networks 



This study was supported by a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant awarded to Nabila El-Bassel (grant DA012335).


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabila El-Bassel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Elwin Wu
  • Mingway Chang
  1. 1.Social Intervention GroupColumbia University School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA

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