The study of social networks is essential to understanding the spread of infectious diseases. This study reviews strategies for collecting whole (that is, sociometric) network data for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention. Using selected criteria, peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1980 to 2012 were searched in ISI Web of Knowledge and PsychInfo databases, and social network journals. Data from articles represent 12 whole network studies; the preponderance of the remaining articles was from personal (that is, egocentric) network studies. A common approach used to devise a whole network was recruiting and linking personal networks. Other approaches included venue-based linkages and use of a population roster. Ethnography and chain referral methods were key components of a multi-method approach to successfully acquiring a whole network. Few studies adequately explicate data collection and linking methodologies. Potential ways to augment and standardize reporting for similar studies are suggested.
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), social network, sociometric, egocentric, recruitment.
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