Social Support Networks and Primary Care Use by HIV-Infected Drug Users

Megha Ramaswamy, Patricia J. Kelly, Xuan Li, Karina M. Berg, Alain H. Litwin, Julia H. Arnsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


HIV-infected current and former drug users utilize primary care and preventive health services at suboptimal rates, but little is known about how social support networks are associated with health services use. We investigated the relationship between social support networks and the use of specific types of health services by HIV-infected drug users receiving methadone maintenance. We found that persons with greater social support, in particular more social network members or more network members aware of their HIV status, were more likely to use primary care services. In contrast, social support networks were not related to emergency room or inpatient hospital use. Interventions that build social support might improve coordinated and continuous health services utilization by HIV-infected persons in outpatient drug treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Drug users
  • HIV infection
  • Health service utilization
  • Social networks
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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