Risks of acquiring and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases in sexual partner networks

Sex Transm Dis. 2000 Nov;27(10):579-87. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200011000-00006.


Background: A person's risk for acquiring infection and their role in continued transmission has traditionally been assessed on the basis of individual characteristics. Recently, network studies have attempted to relate individual risks to position in the wider network.

Goal: To assess the importance of local and global network structures in assessing the risk of acquiring and transmitting infection.

Study design: An individual-based simulation model was used to construct a variety of potential network structures and track the transmission of infection over time. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to identify which measures of network position influence a person's risk for acquiring and transmitting infection.

Results: Measures of local centrality were more important to risk of acquisition, whereas global centrality mattered more to transmission. Continuous snowball sampling, rather than a fixed number of waves, better estimates a person's risks.

Conclusions: There is an asymmetry regarding the risk of acquiring and transmitting infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission