While social relationships influence HIV transmission, they can also offer possible points of intervention. A better understanding of such relationships can help in the development of new interventions that can target risk behaviors especially in marginalized populations that are still experiencing high rates of infection. Given this context, the overarching question that I explore in this dissertation is the role of social relationships in the transmission and prevention of HIV among marginalized populations. I approach this question through three papers that use different methodologies and explore diverse aspects of social relationships affecting risk behavior across two key understudied and vulnerable populations — homeless youth and male sex workers. Overall, these papers further our understanding about the role of social relationships and provide new directions for both research and policy.
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Nonsexual relationships and HIV sexual risk behaviors of homeless youth: A review
A qualitative exploration of condom use decision-making by homeless youth using event level data
Risky Sexual Behaviors among Male Sex Workers in Lebanon: Exploring the Role of Social Networks
This document was submitted as a dissertation in March 2015 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Glenn J. Wagner (Chair), David P. Kennedy, and Ryan Brown.
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