Preliminary Findings from Project MedNet: A Study of the Social Networks of African American Men and Women Living with HIV

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This presentation will share preliminary findings from Project MedNet, which is a study that aimed to understand how social networks influence the health and wellness
of African American men and women living with HIV. The study sought to understand the social network factors that may lead to better or worse health outcomes, such as being on ART medication, adhering to medication, and regularly visiting one’s doctor. It found that experiencing HIV-related discrimination and stigma from close others was
associated with lower ART adherence. Those who were close to others who were on ART tended to have more positive outcomes (e.g. to take ART themselves and to visit their HIV doctor regularly). In contrast, people who were close to more drug partners were less likely to be taking ART and less likely to go to HIV care regularly.

Laura M. Bogart, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Research Director in the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, at Boston Children’s Hospital. She specializes in the application of social psychological theory to understanding and reducing HIV-related health disparities

Matt G. Mutchler, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at CSU Dominguez Hills and a Community- Based Researcher at AIDS Project Los Angeles. He has over 25 years of research experience investigating the social and cultural contexts of HIV prevention and treatment issues.