AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 3175–3183 | Cite as

Using Social Media to Enhance Provider Network for HIV and Harm Reduction Service Integration in Vietnam

  • Li LiEmail author
  • Chunqing Lin
  • Nan Feng
  • Tuan Anh Le
  • Julie Hsieh
  • Diep Bich Nguyen
  • Tuan Anh Nguyen


Social media can potentially serve as a platform to coordinate medical care among fragmented health sectors. This paper describes procedures of using social media to enhance antiretroviral therapy (ART) and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) providers’ virtual network for integrated service for HIV-positive people who inject drugs (PWID) in Vietnam. A total of 88 ART and MMT treatment providers participated in person group sessions followed by online virtual support to improve service integration. In-person reunions were held to reinforce Facebook participation and network activities. Content analysis was used to identify keywords and topic categories of the online information exchange. Both MMT and ART providers were actively engaged in online communications. Referral and treatment adherence were the two most frequently discussed topic areas by both the MMT and ART providers. Frequent cross-agency connections were observed. Online provider networks and communities could be built and useful to support treatment providers to improve service integration.


Social media Treatment providers Service integration Network Vietnam 


Los medios sociales pueden potencialmente servir una plataforma para coordinar atencion medica entre los sectores de salud fragmentados. Este documento describe los procedimentos de uso de las redes sociales para mejorar proveedores red virtual de proveedores de terapia antiretoriviral (TARV) y la tratamiento de mantenimiento con metadona (TMM) para el servicio integrado para personas VIH positivas que se inyectan drogas en Vietnam. Un total de 88 proveedores de tratamiento de TARV y TMM participación en sesiones grupales en persona siguiendo un ayuda virtual web para mejorar integracions de servicio. Se llevaron reuniones en persona para reforzar la participación en Facebook y en las actividades de la red. El método de análisis se utiliza para identificar palabras y categorías de intercambio de información en línea. Los proveedores de TMM y TARV participaron activamente en las comunicaciones en línea. La referencia y la adherencia al tratamiento fueron las dos áreas temáticas más discutidas por los proveedores de TMM y TARV. Observaron conexiones frecuentes entre agencias. Las redes y comunidades de proveedores en línea podrían ser construidas y útiles para apoyar a los proveedores de tratamiento para mejorar la integración del servicio.

Palabra claves

Medios sociales Proveedores de tratamiento Integración del servicio La red Vietnam 



Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number [R01DA041008] and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award number [P30MH058107]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the project team members in Vietnam for their contributions to this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors included on this manuscript declare that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior – Center for Community HealthUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.National Institute of Hygiene and EpidemiologyHanoiVietnam

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