Macro-social/structural events (“big events”) such as wars, disasters, and large-scale changes in policies can affect HIV transmission by making risk behaviors more or less likely or by changing risk contexts. The purpose of this study was to develop new measures to investigate hypothesized pathways between macro-social changes and HIV transmission. We developed novel scales and indexes focused on topics including norms about sex and drug injecting under different conditions, involvement with social groups, helping others, and experiencing denial of dignity. We collected data from 300 people who inject drugs in New York City during 2012-2013. Most investigational measures showed evidence of validity (Pearson correlations with criterion variables range = 0.12-0.71) and reliability (Cronbach’s alpha range = 0.62-0.91). Research is needed in different contexts to evaluate whether these measures can be used to better understand HIV outbreaks and help improve social/structural HIV prevention intervention programs.
Developing measures of pathways that may link macro social/structural changes with HIV epidemiology
AIDS and Behavior, 20 (8), 1808-1820. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1291-3. PMCID: PMC4945500.