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Sex Transm Dis. 2000 Jan;27(1):12-8.

Social network methods for endemic foci of syphilis: a pilot project.

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  • 1Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA. rrothen@emory.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social network methods have improved our understanding of sexually transmitted disease transmission dynamics, and may be of use in routine field operations for partner notification.

GOAL:

To augment traditional syphilis-control activities with social network methods in an Atlanta area with high syphilis morbidity.

STUDY DESIGN:

Disease investigators conducted interviews, used network diagrams to prioritize their work, and relied on network connections for finding hard-to-reach persons.

RESULTS:

A total of 396 contacts were elicited from 48 infected and 50 uninfected persons. The cumulative prevalence of syphilis was 12.6%, and 24 persons infected with HIV were identified. Network methods disclosed a large, interconnected group (276 persons) characterized by high network centrality and the substantial presence of small, interactive subgroups (microstructures).

CONCLUSION:

The network approach is a feasible field technique, and can identify core groups involved in the intense transmission of syphilis. The targeted, network-based approach may be useful in attempts to eliminate syphilis.

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PMID:
10654862
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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