The relationship between social network factors, HIV, and Hepatitis C among injection drug users in Chennai, India

Carl Latkin, Cui Yang, Aylur K. Srikrishnan, Suniti Solomon, Shruti H. Mehta, David D. Celentano, Muniratnam Suresh Kumar, Amy Knowlton, Sunil Suhas Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine whether social network factors predict HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) serostatus after controlling for individual-level factors at baseline among a cohort of male injection drug users in Chennai, India. Methods: The sample, which was recruited through street outreach, consists of 1078 males who reported having injected drugs in the last 6 months. Results: The participants reported 3936 social support and risk network members. HIV and HCV positive serostatus were negatively associated with network member providing emotional support, and positively associated with network member providing material support. In addition, HCV positivity was associated with network member being an active drug user known for more than 10 years and network member being male kin networks, even after adjusting for individual demographic factors and risk behaviors. Conclusions: These findings suggest that social network factors are significantly linked to HIV and HCV status among IDUs in Southern India and highlight the mixed effects of social capital on health. Future HIV/HCV prevention efforts should incorporate IDU peers to alter drug network injection risk norms. For drug users who have minimal network support, support groups and other informal and formal support mechanisms may be need to help them with health care and psychological support needs for dealing with HIV/HCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • India
  • Injection drug users
  • Social capital
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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