Advertisement

Network Properties Among Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Vary by Race

  • Meagan ZarwellEmail author
  • William T. Robinson
Original Paper
  • 31 Downloads

Abstract

The HIV burden among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) may be related to variations in network characteristics of the individual’s social and sexual network. This study investigates variations in network properties among 188 Black and 295 White GBM recruited in New Orleans during the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance in 2014. Participants described up to five people who provided social support and five sex partners in the past 3 months. Network properties and network dissimilarity indicators were aggregated to the participant level as means or proportions and examined using PROC GLM. White participants reported larger networks (p = 0.0027), had known network members longer (p = 0.0033), and reported more substance use (p < 0.0001) within networks. Black participants reported networks with fewer men (p = 0.0056) and younger members (p = 0.0110) than those of White GBM. Network properties among GBM differ by race in New Orleans which may inform prevention interventions.

Keywords

National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men Social and sexual networks HIV prevention 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the NHBS research participants, community partners, and the NOLA Fresh study team for making this research possible.

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

This work was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 1U1B TS003252-004 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants P30MH0522776 and T32MH019985 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The authors declare that the findings reported have not been previously published and that the manuscript is not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere. This study was submitted and approved through the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s and Louisiana Department of Health’s Institutional Review Board. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. 1.
    CDC. HIV Risk [Internet]. Lifetime Risk of HIV Diagnosis. 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2016/croi-press-release-risk.html.
  2. 2.
    Hess K, Johnson AS, Hu X, Li J, Wu B, Yu C, et al. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveill Rep. 2016;2(28). http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/reports/hiv-surveillance.html.
  3. 3.
    Louisiana Department of Health. Louisiana HIV, AIDS, and Early Syphilis Surveillance. 2017;15(3). http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/oph/HIVSTD/HIV_Syphilis_Quarterly_Reports/3rd_Quarter_2017_HIV_Syphilis_Report.pdf.
  4. 4.
    Center for HIV N, Hepatitis V, Prevention Division of HIV T, Prevention A. HIV in the Southern United States Strengthening Prevention and Care in the Nation’s Most-Affected Region State of the HIV Epidemic in the South. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/policies/cdc-hiv-in-the-south-issue-brief.pdf.
  5. 5.
    Berkman LF. Social epidemiology: social determinants of health in the United States: are we losing ground? Annu Rev Public Health. 2009;30(1):27–41.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, Kabakchieva E, Antonova R, Vassileva S, DiFranceisco WJ, et al. High-risk sexual behavior, HIV/STD prevalence, and risk predictors in the social networks of young roma (gypsy) men in Bulgaria. J Immigr Minor Heal. 2013;15(1):172–81.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, Takacs J, Mcauliffe TL, Kuznetsova AV, Toth TP, et al. Effects of a social network HIV/STD prevention intervention for MSM in Russia and Hungary. AIDS. 2015;29(5):1.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, Kabakchieva E, Kirsanova AV, Vassileva S, Takacs J, et al. A randomized social network HIV prevention trial with young men who have sex with men in Russia and Bulgaria. AIDS. 2005;19(16):1897–905.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Friedman SR, Aral S. Social networks, risk-potential networks, health, and disease. J Urban Health. 2001;78(3):411–8.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kelly JA, Amirkhanian YA, Seal DW, Galletly CM, Difranceisco W, Glasman LR, et al. Levels and predictors of sexual HIV risk in social networks of men who have sex with men in the Midwest. AIDS Educ Prev. 2010;22(6):483–95.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rothenberg RB, Potterat JJ, Woodhouse DE, Muth SQ, Darrow WW, Klovdahl AS. Social network dynamics and HIV transmission. AIDS. 1998;12(12):1529–36.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Klovdahl AS, Potterat JJ, Woodhouse DE, Muth JB, Muth SQ, Darrow WW. Social networks and infectious disease: the Colorado Springs Study. Soc Sci Med. 1994;38(1):79–88.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Adimora AA, Schoenbach VJ. Social context, sexual networks, and racial disparities in rates of sexually transmitted infections. J Infect Dis. 2005;191(s1):S115–22.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Amirkhanian YA. Social networks, sexual networks and HIV risk in men who have sex with men. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2014;11(1):81–92.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Althoff MD, Theall K, Schmidt N, Hembling J, Gebrekristos HT, Thompson MM, et al. Social support networks and HIV/STI risk behaviors among latino immigrants in a new receiving environment. AIDS Behav. 2017;21(12):3607–17.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bohl DD, Raymond HF, Arnold M, McFarland W. Concurrent sexual partnerships and racial disparities in HIV infection among men who have sex with men. Sex Transm Infect. 2009;85(5):367–9.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lovell AM. Risking risk: the influence of types of capital and social networks on the injection practices of drug users. Soc Sci Med. 2002;55(5):803–21.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kirst MJ. Social capital and beyond: a qualitative analysis of social contextual and structural influences on drug-use related health behaviors. J Drug Issues. 2009;39(3):653–76.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Latkin C, Mandell W, Oziemkowska M, Vlahov D, Celentano D. The relationships between sexual behavior, alcohol use, and personal network characteristics among injecting drug users in Baltimore, Maryland. Sex Transm Dis. 2017;21(3):161–7.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Choi K-H, Ayala G, Paul J, Boylan R, Gregorich S. Social network characteristics and HIV risk among African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Latino men who have sex with men. Natl Inst Heal. 2013;64(5):1–13.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Raymond HF, Al-Tayyib A, Neaigus A, Reilly KH, Braunstein S, Brady KA, et al. HIV among MSM and heterosexual women in the United States. JAIDS J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017;75:S276–80.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schneider J, Michaels S, Bouris A. Family network proportion and HIV risk among black men who have sex with men. JAIDS J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012;61(5):627–35.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Carlos J-A, Bingham TA, Stueve A, Lauby J, Ayala G, Millett GA, et al. The role of peer support on condom use among Black and Latino MSM in three urban areas. AIDS Educ Prev. 2010;22(5):430–44.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Smith AMA, Grierson J, Wain D, Pitts M, Pattison P. Associations between the sexual behaviour of men who have sex with men and the structure and composition of their social networks. Sex Transm Infect. 2004;80(6):455–8.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tieu H-V, Liu T-Y, Hussen S, Connor M, Wang L, Buchbinder S, et al. Sexual networks and HIV risk among black men who have sex with men in 6 U.S. Cities. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(8):e0134085.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tieu H-V, Nandi V, Hoover DR, Lucy D, Stewart K, Frye V, et al. Do Sexual networks of men who have sex with men in new york city differ by race/ethnicity? AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2016;30(1):39–47.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mimiaga MJ, Reisner SL, Cranston K, Isenberg D, Bright D, Daffin G, et al. Sexual mixing patterns and partner characteristics of black MSM in Massachusetts at increased risk for HIV infection and transmission. J Urban Health. 2009;86(4):602–23.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Phillips G, Birkett M, Hammond S, Mustanski B. Partner preference among men who have sex with men: potential contribution to spread of HIV within minority populations. LGBT Heal. 2016;3(3):225–32.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Grey JA, Rothenberg RB, Sullivan PS, Rosenberg ES. Disassortative age-mixing does not explain differences in HIV prevalence between Young White and Black MSM: findings from four studies. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(6):e0129877.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Holloway IW, Traube DE, Kubicek K, Supan J, Weiss G, Kipke MD. HIV prevention service utilization in the Los Angeles House and Ball communities: past experiences and recommendations for the future. AIDS Educ Prev. 2012;24(5):431–44.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sanchez T, Finlayson T, Murrill C, Guilin V, Dean L. Risk behaviors and psychosocial stressors in the new york city house ball community: a comparison of men and transgender women who have sex with men. AIDS Behav. 2010;14(2):351–8.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Murrill CS, Liu K-L, Guilin V, Colón ER, Dean L, Buckley LA, et al. HIV prevalence and associated risk behaviors in New York City’s house ball community. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(6):1074–80.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Zarwell M. Subgroups of men who have sex with men, social capital, and HIV risk behaviors. Dissertation. 2016. https://search.proquest.com/openview/aedc7d6b22498c95afb3b3c38f5907df/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y.
  34. 34.
    Horne SG, Levitt HM, Sweeney KK, Puckett JA, Hampton ML. African American gay family networks: an entry point for HIV prevention. J Sex Res. 2015;52(7):807–20.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Dickson-Gomez J, Owczarzak J, St Lawrence J, Sitzler C, Quinn K, Pearson B, et al. Beyond the ball: implications for HIV risk and prevention among the constructed families of African American men who have sex with men. AIDS Behav. 2014;18(11):2156–68.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Oswald RF. Resilience within the family networks of lesbians and gay men: intentionality and redefinition. J Marriage Fam. 2002;64(2):374–83.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Muraco A. Intentional families: fictive Kin Ties between cross-gender, different sexual orientation friends. J Marriage Fam. 2006;68(5):1313–25.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zarwell MC, Robinson WT. The influence of constructed family membership on HIV risk behaviors among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in New Orleans. J Urban Heal. 2018;95(2):179–87.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kipke MD, Kubicek K, Supan J, Weiss G, Schrager S. Laying the groundwork for an HIV prevention intervention: a descriptive profile of the Los Angeles House and Ball communities. AIDS Behav. 2013;17(3):1068–81.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kubicek K, Beyer WH, McNeeley M, Weiss G, Omni LFTU, Kipke MD. Community-engaged research to identify house parent perspectives on support and risk within the House and Ball scene. J Sex Res. 2013;50(2):178–89.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Holloway IW, Schrager SM, Wong CF, Dunlap SL, Kipke MD. Network correlates of sexual health advice seeking and substance use among members of the Los Angeles House and Ball communities. Health Educ Res. 2014;29(2):306–18.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Arnold EA, Bailey MM. Constructing home and family: how the ballroom community supports African American GLBTQ youth in the face of HIV/AIDS. J Gay Lesbian Soc Serv. 2009;21(2–3):171–88.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Arnold EA, Sterrett-Hong E, Jonas A, Pollack LM. Social networks and social support among ball-attending African American men who have sex with men and transgender women are associated with HIV-related outcomes. Glob Public Health. 2018;13(2):144–58.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Schrager SM, Latkin CA, Weiss G, Kubicek K, Kipke MD. High-risk sexual activity in the house and ball community: influence of social networks. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(2):326–31.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Levitt HM, Sharon Horne BG, Darren Freeman-Coppadge B, Tangela Roberts B. HIV prevention in gay family and house networks: fostering self-determination and sexual safety. AIDS Behav. 2017;21(10):2973–86.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Weston Kath. Families we choose: lesbians, gays, and kinship. New York: Columbia University Press; 1991.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Mosher CM, Levitt HM, Manley E. Layers of leather. J Homosex. 2006;51(3):93–123.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Kampf R. The bear handbook: a comprehensive guide for those who are husky, hairy and homosexual, and those who love’em. Philadelphia: Haworth Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Suresha R. Bears on bears: interviews and discussions. New York: Alyson Publications; 2002. p. 308.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wright L. The bear book: readings in the history and evolution of a gay male subculture. Abingdon: Routledge; 1997.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Peacock B, Eyre SL, Quinn SC, Kegeles S. Delineating differences: sub-communities in the San Francisco gay community. Cult Health Sex. 2001;3(2):183–201.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Prestage G, Brown G, De Wit J, Bavinton B, Fairley C, Maycock B, et al. Understanding gay community subcultures: implications for HIV prevention. AIDS Behav. 2015;19(12):2224–33.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Moskowitz DA, Seal DW, Rintamaki L, Rieger G. HIV in the leather community: rates and risk-related behaviors. AIDS Behav. 2011;15(3):557–64.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Quidley-Rodriguez N, De Santis JP. A concept analysis of bear identity. J Homosex. 2019;66(1):60–76.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Quidley-Rodriguez N, De Santis JP. A literature review of health risks in the bear community, a gay subculture. Am J Mens Health. 2017;11(6):1673–9.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Hosek SG, Lemos D, Hotton AL, Fernandez MI, Telander K, Footer D, et al. An HIV intervention tailored for black young men who have sex with men in the House Ball Community. AIDS Care. 2015;27(3):355–62.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Lemos D, Hosek SG, Bell M. Reconciling reality with fantasy: exploration of the sociocultural factors influencing HIV transmission among Black young men who have sex with men (BYMSM) within the House Ball Community: a Chicago study. J Gay Lesbian Soc Serv. 2015;27(1):64–85.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Holloway IW, Schrager SM, Wong CF, Dunlap SL, Kipke MD. Network correlates of sexual health advice seeking and substance use among members of the Los Angeles House and Ball communities. Health Educ Res. 2014;29(2):306–18.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Telander K, Hosek SG, Lemos D, Jeremie-Brink G. ‘Ballroom itself can either make you or break you’—Black GBT Youths’ psychosocial development in the House Ball Community. Glob Public Health. 2017;12(11):1391–403.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Murrill CS, Liu K, Guilin V, Colón ER, Dean L, Buckley LA, et al. HIV prevalence and associated risk behaviors in New York City’s House Ball Community. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(6):1074–80.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Young LE, Jonas AB, Michaels S, Jackson JD, Pierce ML, Schneider JA, et al. Social-structural properties and HIV prevention among young men who have sex with men in the ballroom house and independent gay family communities. Soc Sci Med. 2017;174:26–34.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Logie CH, James L, Tharao W, Loutfy MR. HIV, gender, race, sexual orientation, and sex work: a qualitative study of intersectional stigma experienced by HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada. PLoS Med. 2011;8(11):e1001124.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Chakrapani V, Vijin PP, Logie CH, Newman PA, Shunmugam M, Sivasubramanian M, et al. Understanding how sexual and gender minority stigmas influence depression among trans women and men who have sex with men in India. LGBT Heal. 2017;4(3):217–26.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Pachankis JE, Hatzenbuehler ML, Berg RC, Fernández-Dávila P, Mirandola M, Marcus U, et al. Anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant structural stigma. JAIDS J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017;76(4):356–66.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Parker CM, Garcia J, Philbin MM, Wilson PA, Parker RG, Hirsch JS. Social risk, stigma and space: key concepts for understanding HIV vulnerability among black men who have sex with men in New York City. Cult Health Sex. 2017;19(3):323–37.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Cáceres CF, Aggleton P, Galea JT. Sexual diversity, social inclusion and HIV/AIDS. AIDS. 2008;22(Suppl 2):S35–43.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Shrestha RK, Sansom SL, Kimbrough L, Hutchinson AB, Daltry D, Maldonado W, et al. Cost-effectiveness of using social networks to identify undiagnosed HIV infection among minority populations. J Public Heal Manag Pract. 2010;16(5):457–64.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Kimbrough LW, Fisher HE, Jones KT, Johnson W, Thadiparthi S, Dooley S. Accessing social networks with high rates of undiagnosed HIV infection: the social networks demonstration project. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(6):1093–9.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Broadhead RS, Heckathorn DD, Weakliem DL, Anthony DL, Madray H, Mills RJ, et al. Harnessing peer networks as an instrument for AIDS prevention: results from a peer-driven intervention. Public Health Rep. 1998;113(Suppl 1):42–57.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Young SD, Cumberland WG, Lee S-J, Jaganath D, Szekeres G, Coates T. Social networking technologies as an emerging tool for HIV prevention: a cluster randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(5):318–24.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Valente TW, Fosados R. Diffusion of innovations and network segmentation: the part played by people in promoting health. Sex Transm Dis. 2006;33(7 Suppl):S23–31.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Kawachi I, Subramanian SV. Social epidemiology for the 21st century. Soc Sci Med. 2018;196:240–5.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Zarwell M, Robinson WT. Development of a social capital scale for constructed families of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(12):e0208781.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Zarwell M, Ransome Y, Barak N, Gruber D, Robinson WT. PrEP indicators, social capital, and social group memberships among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Cult Health Sex. 2019;1:1.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1563912.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Hussen SA, Jones M, Moore S, Hood J, Smith JC, Camacho-Gonzalez A, et al. Brothers building brothers by breaking barriers: development of a resilience-building social capital intervention for young black gay and bisexual men living with HIV. AIDS Care. 2019.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2018.1527007.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    O’Malley AJ, Arbesman S, Steiger DM, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Egocentric social network structure, health, and pro-social behaviors in a national panel study of Americans. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(5):e36250.Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ. 2008;337:a2338.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Wellman B. Challenges in collecting personal network data: the nature of personal network analysis. Field Methods. 2007;19(2):111–5.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The collective dynamics of smoking in a large social network. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(21):2249–58.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(4):370–9.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Lakon C, Godette DHJ. Network-based approaches for measuring social capital. In: Kawachi I, Subramanian SVKD, editors. Social capital and Health. New York: Springer; 2010. p. 63.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for AIDS Intervention ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.School of Public HealthLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV ProgramNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations