A social network approach to estimating seroprevalence in the United States

Peter D. Killworth, Eugene C. Johnsen, Christopher McCarty, Gene Ann Shelley, H. Russell Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Results from a representative survey of respondents in Florida are given, concerning their knowledge about members of their personal network, and specifically how many people respondents know in selected subpopulations. We employ a method known as a "network scale-up method". By using a collection of subpopulations of known size, and also asking about one subpopulation (those who are seropositive) of unknown size, we make various estimates of personal network size and the size of the seropositive subpopulation. Our best (maximum likelihood, unbiased) estimates are 108 members of the network defined by "having been in contact with during the previous two years", and (approximately unbiased) 1.6 million for the seropositive subpopulation. Because of the proportional over-representation of AIDS (and presumably, therefore, seropositive) in Florida, by a factor of about two, this latter estimate could be an overestimate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-50
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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