Social support on Sina Weibo for people living with HIV/AIDS in China

Jingyuan Shi, Liang Chen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


People living with HIV/AIDS in China create an online support group (The HIV/AIDS Weigroup) on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Study 1 content analyzes all 7,215 messages posted in this Weigroup since its launch on January 18th, 2011 till September 14th, 2012. The analysis reveals that social support provisions are far more frequent than social support requests; moreover, informational support is the most dominantly requested and provided in this group. Study 2 further examines how social support exchanged in the HIV/AIDS Weigroup using social network analysis and MANOVA. It reveals main effects of both contact frequency and reciprocity on the amount of information support exchanged within each dyad. Moreover, dyadic partners with a high frequency of contact exchange a larger amount of emotional support than their counterparts. However, strongly reciprocal dyads do not exchange significantly more emotional social support than those dyads with a low level of reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2014
EventICA 2014 - 64th Annual International Communication Association Conference: Communication and the Good Life - Seattle, United States
Duration: 22 May 201426 May 2014


ConferenceICA 2014 - 64th Annual International Communication Association Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication


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