Social network and HIV risk behaviors in female sex workers: A systematic review


BACKGROUND: Social network characteristics have an important role in understanding HIV transmission among female sex workers. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize and critically appraise the existing studies on the social network characteristics and HIV risk behaviors among female sex workers. METHOD: A systematic review was performed using predefined eligibility criteria through searching electronic databases. Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of studies. RESULTS: Nineteen papers met the eligible review criteria. The synthesized evidence suggests that characteristics of social networks, especially functional characteristics such as social support and social capital, are important constructs for understanding the HIV risk behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present review enhance our understanding of the role of social network characteristics in HIV risk behaviors among female sex workers. However, the findings also highlighted a dearth of knowledge about the association of structural characteristics of social networks with HIV risk behaviors among female sex workers


Shushtari ZJ, Hosseini SA, Sajjadi H, Salimi Y, Latkin C, Snijders TAB




  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • Sex workers
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction


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