Propagation of Information About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention Through Twitter
Health Communication, Forthcoming
36 Pages Posted: 22 May 2015
Date Written: April 29, 2015
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
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