Communities and Technology: Enhancements in HIV-Prevention Research and Practice Among Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Sheana BullEmail author
  • Tarik Walker
  • Deb Levine


The burden of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is disproportionaly high for adolescents and young adults. Adolescents and young people report high rates of sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, and inconsistent condom use. The Internet and, more specifically, online social networks, are beginning to be harnessed as potentially effective and culturally congruent communication channels to reach and engage some communities and populations in HIV-prevention interventions. Rates of social media use tend to be high among adolescents and young adults, in particular; they create, share, and exchange information, ideas, and perspectives in “virtual communities,” including Facebook, MySpace, Ning, FourSquare, Second Life, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. In this chapter, we consider virtual communities and the opportunities that exist for using social media to promote HIV prevention. We then describe the processes of engagement and interaction with members of virtual communities through our own experiences developing, implementing, and evaluating our Just/Us Facebook page intervention.


Adolescents Facebook HIV Social media Young adults 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine and Colorado Area Health Education CenterUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Youth Tech Health (YTH)OaklandUSA

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