Welcome to the Sociologists AIDS Network

Welcome to the Sociologists AIDS Network

The Sociologists’ AIDS Network (SAN) was founded by a group of sociologists, including the late Martin Levine, who were concerned with HIV/AIDS. SAN aims: to increase the use of sociological perspectives in HIV/AIDS research and prevention, to increase inclusion of HIV/AIDS concerns in all branches of sociology, and to serve as a community resource for [...]

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Letter from the Chair – Winter 2011

Letter from the Chair – Winter 2011

We had SAN’s Special Session on Sunday, August 24, 2011 at 2:30 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, during the annual ASA meeting. Since SAN is not a regular part of the ASA organizational structure, it was tricky getting on the meeting program. Many people in ASA and SAN helped to make this possible. Our [...]

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2011 SAN Career Award Winner: Prof. Judith Cook

2011 SAN Career Award Winner: Prof. Judith Cook

We are honored to recognize Dr. Judith Cook as the winner of the 2011 Award for Career Contributions to the Sociology of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Cook is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Center on Mental Health Services and Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She [...]

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2011 SAN Martin Levine Student Paper Winner: Yordanosnu Tiruneh

Yordanos Tiruneh recently completed her PhD in Sociology at Northwestern University. Her research examines how health, illness, and medicine are diversely experienced and managed and analyzes how socio-economic situations, culture, healing ideologies, and public discourse shape the lived experiences and illness management of people living with chronic, stigmatized illnesses. Her dissertation investigated how people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) differentially navigate their medical regimens and diversely relate to their medication. In particular, she investigated how their experience in specific economic, cultural, and social domains influenced their medication practices. She earned her BA in Sociology and Social Administration from Addis Ababa Univ. Ethiopia and MPhil in International Community Health from Univ. of Oslo, Norway. Her interest includes medical sociology, HIV/AIDS, sexuality, gender, culture, immigration, and urban sociology.

HIV Social Science Conference

Dear SAN Colleagues,
 
I would like to encourage any of you for whom it is feasible to submit abstracts and to attend the 1st HIV Social Science and Humanities Conference, which it taking place in Durban South Africa, June 11-13, 2011.  General information, abstract submission guidelines, and registration are available at:  www.iaohss.org.
 
This conference grew out of a  desire to redress the dearth of venues for the exchange of social science research on HIV/AIDS across our own disciplines and with our colleagues in the biomedical and clinical sciences.   Social research remains excluded or marginalized in major HIV/AIDS science conferences, including the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections and the IAS Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention Conference.  And, typically, where there has been a social science track at the biennial International AIDS Conference, it has been combined with non-social science areas such as community engagement, ethics, and advocacy.  As such, this new conference affords a unique opportunity to focus on the distinct and significant  contributions  of social research to understanding and addressing HIV epidemics globally and to share important theoretical and methodological developments in our disciplines.
 
I hope to see you in Durban!
 
Judy Auerbach

“Efficacy of an HIV/STI Prevention Intervention for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: Findings from the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) Project.”

By L Wilton, J.H. Herbst, P. Coury-Doninger, T.M. Painter, G. English, M.E. Alvarez, M. Scahill, M.A. Roberson, B. Lucas, W.D. Johnson, and J.W. Carey.

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States experience disproportionately high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); however, the number of evidence-based interventions for Black MSM is limited. This study evaluated the efficacy of Many Men, Many Voices (3MV), a small-group HIV/STI prevention intervention developed by Black MSM-serving community-based organizations and a university-based HIV/STI prevention and training program. The study sample included 338 Black MSM of HIV-negative or unknown HIV serostatus residing in New York city. Participants were randomly assigned to the 3MV intervention condition (n = 164) or wait-list comparison condition (n = 174). Relative to comparison participants, 3MV participants reported significantly greater reductions in any unprotected anal intercourse with casual male partners; a trend for consistent condom use during receptive anal intercourse with casual male partners; and significantly greater reductions in the number of male sex partners and greater increases in HIV testing. This study is the first randomized trial to demonstrate the efficacy of an HIV/STI prevention intervention for Black MSM.

Wilton, L., J.H. Herbst, P. Coury-Doninger, T.M. Painter, G. English, M.E. Alvarez, M. Scahill, M.A. Roberson, B. Lucas, W.D. Johnson, and J.W. Carey. 2009. “Efficacy of an HIV/STI Prevention Intervention for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: Findings from the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) Project.” AIDS and Behavior 13(3):532-544.

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“Female Sex Work and HIV Risks in Croatia.”

By A. Štulhofer, V. Baćak, T. Drglin, M. Puljiz, and M. Miklin.

The aim of this paper was to analyze and compare the prevalence of HIV-related sexual risk taking among Croatian female sex workers (FSW) in two major urban areas. Two groups of FSWs were interviewed in Zagreb (n=65) and Split (n=89). Participants’ mean age was 33.3 (SD=8.32). Interviews were conducted by outreach organizations that provide health services to sex workers in the two cities. The study used a brief questionnaire with standardized behavioral and HIV knowledge indicators. The two groups of FSWs differed significantly in most socio-demographic and socio-sexual indicators. Women from the Split sample were somewhat younger (χ2=6.87, p<0.05), less educated (χ2=7.71, p<0.05), less likely to be single (χ2=19.81, p<0.001), and less likely to be unemployed (χ2=5.22, p<0.05). In addition, they injected drugs in higher proportion (χ2=35.03, p<0.001), but had less clients in the preceding month (χ2=12.54, p<0.001) and were less likely to be abused by them (χ2=7.18, p<0.01). HIV testing was significantly more prevalent among participants in the Split sample (χ2=4.95, p<0.05). In multivariate analysis, selling sex in Zagreb (OR = 14.48, p<0.01), having secondary or higher education (OR = 4.76, p<0.05), ever tested for HIV (OR = 8.34, p<0.05), and having assessed the risk of getting infected with HIV as high (OR = 0.23, p<0.05) were significantly associated with consistent condom use with clients in the last month. The findings of this first systematic study on HIV-related risks among FSWs in Croatia point to the need to update targeted intervention programs by improving the prevention of HIV risks associated with injecting drug use (Split) and by a more efficient HIV educational approach.

Štulhofer, A., Baćak, V., Drglin, T., Puljiz, M., and M. Miklin. 2009. “Female Sex Work and HIV Risks in Croatia.” AIDS Care 21(11):1439 – 1446.

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“Is Regular Condom Use a Habit? An Assessment of Normative, Calculative, and Habitual Explanations of Consistent Condom Use.”

By A. Štulhofer, V. Baćak, D. Ajduković , and C. Graham.

The aim of this study was to provide a better understanding of the likely mechanisms underlying regular condom use. In 2009, 1145 sexually active individuals aged 18-65 years were surveyed online, after being recruited via an e-mail message circulated at a large Croatian university and posted on various social networking websites. Participants’ mean age was 28.1 years (SD = 8.01). Women constituted a slight majority of the sample (51.6%). The research questions – whether the frequently observed association between condom use at first and most recent sexual intercourse could be best predicted by (a) norm-oriented behavior; (b) calculative decision-making; or (c) habit formation – were tested using multiple logistic regression. Only the calculative and habitual motivational determinants of condom use were significant predictors. Unlike calculative use, which decreased the odds of condoms being used at both occasions, habitual use, as expected, increased the odds of condom use. In addition, the habitual modality of condom use significantly predicted consistent condom use with both casual and steady sexual partners. Age, being in a relationship, and the number of lifetime sexual partners were negatively associated with habitual condom use. The finding that habit plays a substantial role in consistent condom use suggests the need for further exploration of personality and relational factors associated with the initiation of habitual condom use.

Štulhofer, A., Baćak, V., Ajduković, D., and C. Graham. 2010. “Is Regular Condom Use a Habit? An Assessment of Normative, Calculative, and Habitual Explanations of Consistent Condom Use.” Social Science and Medicine.

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“HIV Prevention for Youths in Foster Care: Understanding Future Orientation and Intended Risk Behaviors.”

By Michael Polgar and Wendy Auslander.

Youths in foster care face challenges, including making healthy behavioral choices. Empirical data from a sample show how intentions to engage in HIV-risk behaviors vary among youths in foster care. Youths who hold safer attitudes about prevention and those who have fewer peers with behavioral problems more often intend safer behavior. Among young women, a stronger orientation toward the future is associated with fewer behavioral intentions that involve HIV risk. Youths in foster care who are in higher grades, express greater self-efficacy, or have fewer problems with mental health or substance abuse express a stronger and more hopeful orientation toward the future. These research results support the application of integrated health behavior theory among youths in foster care, showing that preventive attitudes, well-behaved peers, and a stronger orientation toward the future are associated with fewer behavioral intentions that precede HIV risk.

Polgar, Michael and Wendy Auslander. 2009. “HIV Prevention for Youths in Foster Care: Understanding Future Orientation and Intended Risk Behaviors.” Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Sciences 8(4).

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“Clinical Implications of Stigma in HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections.”

By Tess M-S. Neal, Bronwen Lichtenstein, and Stanley L. Brodsky.

This study sought to identify stigma differences between HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Interviewees from Alabama, USA (n = 537) rated two types of stigma (damage to social reputation and ‘moral weakness’) for seven infections ranging from ‘nuisance’ conditions (e.g. pubic lice) to life-threatening disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS). When asked which of the seven STIs would be most damaging to reputation, 74.8% of respondents chose HIV/AIDS. However, when asked to choose which STI represented moral weakness in infected persons, HIV/AIDS was rated as significantly lower than the other STIs, which suggests that HIV/AIDS is perceived differently than non-HIV STIs. This study addresses the possibility that advances in public awareness of HIV/AIDS have not necessarily been extrapolated into awareness of other STIs. Clinicians should be aware of these high levels of stigma as potential barriers to treatment for all STIs. Public health officials should consider the impact of undifferentiated stigma on STI prevention messages.

Neal, Tess M-S., Bronwen Lichtenstein, and Stanley L. Brodsky. 2010. “Clinical Implications of Stigma in HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections.” International Journal of STD & AIDS.

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“Commentaries on the nature of social and cultural research: Interviews on HIV/AIDS with Judy Auerbach, Susan Kippax, Steven Epstein, Didier Fassin, Barry Adam and Dennis Altman”

By Eric Mykhalovskiy and Marsha Rosengarten.

Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Marsha Rosengarten (eds). 2009. “Commentaries on the nature of social and cultural research: Interviews on HIV/AIDS with Judy Auerbach, Susan Kippax, Steven Epstein, Didier Fassin, Barry Adam and Dennis Altman” Social Theory and Health 7(3).

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“The Impact of Disaster on HIV in Haiti and Priority Areas Related to the Haitian Crisis.”

By Robert M Malow, Rhonda Rosenberg, Bronwen Lichtenstein, and Jessy Devieux.

Malow, Robert M., Rhonda Rosenberg, Bronwen Lichtenstein, and Jessy Devieux. 2010. “The Impact of Disaster on HIV in Haiti and Priority Areas Related to the Haitian Crisis.” Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

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“Psychosocial Stressors among HIV-Affected Families: Implications for Social Work Practice.”

By Bronwen Lichtenstein, Marsha Sturdevant, and Anil Mujumdar.

This study identified the psychosocial stressors of low-income families who were affected by HIV/AIDS in Alabama. Methods consisted of personal interviews with 12 social workers at public agencies and a review of social work charts for 80 clients at an HIV clinic for mothers and children. The combined results indicated that families were likely to experience housing instability, family breakdown, mental illness, behavioral problems, and stigma. Younger children typically lived with their mothers, while older biological children often resided with relatives or in foster care. Social workers perceived mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety to be common among women caregivers. Behavioral problems and learning difficulties were frequently reported among children but children who were not living with HIV/AIDS did not have the same access to health care and social services as their siblings who were living with HIV/AIDS. This outcome is relevant to social workers because the children who were affected by HIV/AIDS outnumbered the children who were living with HIV/AIDS by a ratio of 3 to 1. Findings suggest that a model of care that involves funding for family-centered services for caregivers and children would provide a useful foundation for building stronger, more resilient families.

Lichtenstein, Bronwen, Marsha Sturdevant, and Anil Mujumdar. Forthcoming 2010. “Psychosocial Stressors among HIV-Affected Families: Implications for Social Work Practice.” Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services 9(2).

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