What role does geographic distance play in sexual partner selection among young men who have sex with men (YMSM)?
Data for this analysis come from 175 network interviews conducted with YMSM in Chicago. Matching of Egos and Alters resulted in a network of 3,140 unique individuals and 1,318 unique sexual partnerships.
Only 23.5% of sexual partners resided in the same community area, and, on average, sexual partners lived a mean of 2.85 miles apart (standard deviation = 3.03 miles). Using generalized estimating equations (GEE) to control for Egos with multiple sex partners, we found that female partners of YMSM tended to live closer than male partners (0.91 miles; p = 0.001). Additionally, racial differences were found with increased distance within Black partnerships (0.87 miles; p = 0.002). Compared with boyfriends, individuals in a sexual partnership with a friend or a one night stand lived significantly farther apart (1.08 miles, p = 0.02; 1.62 miles, p = 0.01, respectively).
As might be expected, sexual partnerships that may be generally less socially accepted tend to involve partners with greater distance.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the role that geographic distance plays in sexual partner decision making among YMSM.
Keyword(s): Epidemiology, HIV Risk Behavior
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an HIV epidemiologist who has conducted behavioral research with MSM for nearly a decade.
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.