IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Candidate change agent identification among men at risk for HIV infection


  • Schneider, John A.
  • McFadden, Rachel B.
  • Laumann, Edward O.
  • Prem Kumar, S.G.
  • Gandham, Sabitha R.
  • Oruganti, Ganesh


Despite limited HIV prevention potency, peer-based programs have become one of the most often used HIV prevention approaches internationally. These programs demonstrate a need for greater specificity in peer change agent (PCA) recruitment and social network evaluation. In the present three-phase study based in India (2009–2010), we first explored the nature of friendship among truck-drivers, a group of men at high risk for HIV infection, in order to develop a thorough understanding of the social forces that contribute to and maintain their personal networks. This was accomplished in the first two study phases through a combination of focus group discussions (n = 5 groups), in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 20), and personal network analyses (n = 25) of truck-drivers to define friendship and deepen our understanding of friendship across geographic spaces. Measures collected in phases I and II included friend typologies, discussion topics, social network influences, advice-giving, and risk reduction. Outcomes were assessed through an iterative process of qualitative textual analysis and social network analysis. The networks of truck-drivers were found to comprise three typologies: close friends, parking lot friends, and other friends. From these data, we developed an algorithmic approach to the identification of a candidate PCA within a high-risk man's personal network. In phase III we piloted field-use of this approach to identify and recruit PCAs, and further evaluated their potential for intervention through preliminary analysis of the PCA's own personal networks. An instrument was developed to translate what social network theory and analysis has taught us about egocentric network dynamics into a real-world methodology for identifying intervention-appropriate peers within an individual's personal network. Our approach can be tailored to the specifications of any high-risk population, and may serve to enhance current peer-based HIV interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Schneider, John A. & McFadden, Rachel B. & Laumann, Edward O. & Prem Kumar, S.G. & Gandham, Sabitha R. & Oruganti, Ganesh, 2012. "Candidate change agent identification among men at risk for HIV infection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1192-1201.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:7:p:1192-1201
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.022

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:6:977-985_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cornman, Deborah H. & Schmiege, Sarah J. & Bryan, Angela & Joseph Benziger, T. & Fisher, Jeffrey D., 2007. "An information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB) model-based HIV prevention intervention for truck drivers in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 1572-1584, April.
    3. Latkin, Carl A. & Donnell, Deborah & Metzger, David & Sherman, Susan & Aramrattna, Apinun & Davis-Vogel, Annet & Quan, Vu Minh & Gandham, Sharavi & Vongchak, Tasanai & Perdue, Tom & Celentano, David D, 2009. "The efficacy of a network intervention to reduce HIV risk behaviors among drug users and risk partners in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Philadelphia, USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 740-748, February.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:8:1129-1136_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1991:81:2:168-171_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2009.184200_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.149419_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2009.166991_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, John A. & Zhou, A. Ning & Laumann, Edward O., 2015. "A new HIV prevention network approach: Sociometric peer change agent selection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 192-202.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:7:p:1192-1201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.