Online Program

Neighborhood and network influences on HIV and STIs among young men who have sex with men

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Brian Mustanski, PhD, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Michelle Birkett, PhD, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Lisa Kuhns, PhD, MPH, General Academic Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Stephen Muth, Quintus-ential Solutions, Colorado Springs, CO
Carl Latkin, PhD, Health, Behavior, and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Black young men who have sex with men (YMSM) show alarming disparities in the prevalence of HIV infections, yet studies have shown they do not report higher levels of HIV risk behaviors compared to white YMSM. Increasingly, research is suggesting that structural and network-level phenomena may explain these disparities. One possible explanation links together the effects of racial homophily in sexual networks, patterns of racial segregation by neighborhoods in many large cities, and neighborhood differences in HIV prevalence. To study the effects of having sex partners from high HIV prevalence neighborhoods we linked together epidemiological data on numbers and rates of HIV diagnoses by neighborhood area with egocentric network data from 175 YMSM (Age: 17 - 23; Race: 14% White, 54% Black; 21% Latino, 11% other). Network study participants completed assessments of individual risk factors of HIV/STIs, biological assessment of HIV/STIs (10.9% positive), and neighborhood residence for each of their sexual partners. Participants reported a total of 3,390 network members (including sexual and social network members), with each participant having on average 14.7 core support network members and 8.0 sex network members. There was significant homophily of sexual partners by race, and number of black alters was significantly associated with HIV status controlling for participant race. Epidemiological data and network data demonstrate that rates of HIV infection significantly differ by neighborhood area. We will describe the incremental effect of HIV prevalence in neighborhoods of residence for network sex partners compared to self-reported HIV risk behavior.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare the effects on HIV/STI risk of individual behavior to those of neighborhood and network factors. Describe neighborhood disparities in risk for HIV infection and how they are related to race.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Network Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the PI of numerous grants from the NIH and CDC related to HIV and STIs among young MSM. Several of the grants have related to network and neighborhood effects on HIV/AIDS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.