Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Dr. Melissa Tibbits

Second Committee Member

Dr. Shireen Rajaram

Third Committee Member

Dr. Marisa Rosen


This literature review explores the potential of social support and social network theories in improving enrollment and retention in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care for at-risk adolescents aged 10-24. Seven peer-reviewed articles were analyzed to identify the critical role of social support and networks in providing informational, instrumental, emotional, and appraisal support. While biological family members are often the primary support figures, some studies acknowledge the importance of friend networks in promoting PrEP use. Families are generally willing to support their children's use of PrEP, especially if they have prior knowledge of PrEP. Communication between parents and their children about HIV and PrEP is crucial in promoting PrEP awareness and use. Future studies should focus on developing and testing interventions that leverage the influence of families, partners, online support strategies, social identity support, and policy analysis to improve access to sexual health services for at-risk adolescents. In conclusion, social support and networks can potentially enhance the PrEP continuum of care among adolescents at risk for HIV. Future research should explore the effectiveness of interventions targeting these factors.