Van Sluytman LG, Latkin C, Smith LR. Constructing Taxonomies: Identifying Distinctive Class of HIV Support and Risk Networks among People Who Use Drugs (PWID) and Their Network Members in the HPTN 037 Randomized Controlled Trial.. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022, 19: 7205. PMC9223677
Injection drug use is a significant mode of HIV transmission. Social networks are potential avenues for behavior change among high-risk populations. Increasing knowledge should include a classification or taxonomy system of networks’ attributes, risks, and needs. The current study employed 232 networks comprising 232 indexes, with 464 network members enrolled in Philadelphia. LCA revealed a three-class solution, Low-Risk, Paraphernalia Risk, and High Sex/Moderate Paraphernalia Risk class, among participants. The analysis found receiving money or drugs for sex and employment status increased the odds of belonging to PR and PSR classes. Homelessness and incarceration increased the odds of belonging to the PR class when compared to the LR class. Our findings suggest that classes of risk among PWID comprise clusters of information concerning their members. These findings add depth to our understanding while extending our knowledge of the contextual environment that nurtures or exacerbates the problem.