Twitter Can Detect HIV Outbreaks in Real-Time, Study Says


A team of UCLA researchers found that Twitter and other real-time social media can be used to track HIV outbreaks and drug behavior, potentially helping detection and prevention efforts.

The team's study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine and conducted through the Center for Digital Behavior at UCLA, suggests a link between geographic outbreaks in the U.S. and tweets with phrases that indicate drug-related and sexually risky behavior.

See also: Use Social Media to Fight for an AIDS-Free Generation

Researchers collected more than 550 million tweets between May 26 and Dec. 9, 2012, and developed an algorithm to find phrase including words such as "sex" and "get high." They then plotted those tweets on a map and ran statistical models to check if the locations matched areas where HIV cases had been reported. ...

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Read more here: Twitter Can Detect HIV Outbreaks in Real-Time, Study Says

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