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Propagation of Information About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention Through Twitter

Health Communication, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 22 May 2015  

Margaret L McLaughlin

Florida State University

Jinghui Hou

Florida State University

Jingbo Meng

Michigan State University

Chih-Wei Hu

University of Southern California

Zheng An

University of Southern California

Mina Park

University of Southern California

Yujung Nam

Washington State University

Date Written: April 29, 2015

Abstract

Previous literature has suggested that examining Twitter messages can be productive for studying how the public shares and spreads health information on social media. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a promising approach to HIV prevention, yet there are many issues which may influence its effective implementation. This study examined social representations of PrEP on Twitter. 1,435 Tweets were collected and 774 English Tweets were content-analyzed to explore propagation of various issues around daily oral PrEP as well as characteristics of the sources of those Tweets. We also examined how Twitter message content influenced information propagation. Our findings revealed that PrEP-related information on Twitter covered a wide range of issues, and individual users constituted the majority of the Tweet creators among all the sources including news media, non-profit and academic groups, and commercial entities. Using Poisson regression, we also found that a Tweet’s affective tone was a significant predictor of message propagation frequency. Implications for health practitioners were discussed.

Keywords: information propagation, PrEP for HIV prevention, Twitter, Truvada

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Margaret L and Hou, Jinghui and Meng, Jingbo and Hu, Chih-Wei and An, Zheng and Park, Mina and Nam, Yujung, Propagation of Information About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention Through Twitter (April 29, 2015). Health Communication, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605632

Margaret L McLaughlin

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Jinghui Hou (Contact Author)

Florida State University ( email )

College of Communication & Information
4100 University Center, Building C
Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~jinghuih/Home.html

Jingbo Meng

Michigan State University ( email )

404 Wilson Road
East Lansing, MI MI - Michigan 48824-1122
United States

Chih-Wei Hu

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Zheng An

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Mina Park

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Yujung Nam

Washington State University ( email )

Wilson Rd.
College of Business
Pullman, WA 99164
United States

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