AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 2803–2815 | Cite as

A Person-Centered Approach to HIV-Related Protective and Risk Factors for Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: Implications for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis and HIV Treatment as Prevention

  • Wilson VincentEmail author
  • John L. Peterson
  • Erik D. Storholm
  • David M. Huebner
  • Torsten B. Neilands
  • Sarah K. Calabrese
  • Gregory M. Rebchook
  • Judy Y. Tan
  • Lance Pollack
  • Susan M. Kegeles
Original Paper


Although young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV, they may be more heterogeneous as a group than is typically appreciated. Thus, the present study used a person-centered data-analytic approach to determine profiles of HIV-related risk among YBMSM and whether these profiles could be distinguished by age, HIV status, and socioeconomic risk (i.e., socioeconomic distress). YBMSM (N = 1808) aged 18 to 29 years completed a survey of sociodemographic characteristics, HIV status, and HIV-related behavioral and attitudinal factors (i.e., safer-sex self-efficacy, negative condom attitudes, being in difficult sexual situations, being in difficult sexual relationships, HIV treatment optimism, perceived HIV stigma). Latent profile analysis was used to identify HIV risk profiles and whether age, HIV status, and socioeconomic distress were associated with these profiles. Four profiles emerged: low-, medium-, and high-risk profiles, respectively, and a mixed profile characterized by a tendency to be in difficult sexual situations and relationships while also reporting high safer-sex self-efficacy and low negative attitudes toward condom use. Difficult sexual situations emerged as the key defining indicator of whether a profile reflected higher or lower risk. Younger age, being HIV-positive, and socioeconomic distress were associated with having a higher-risk profile. Given that unique risk profiles emerged that were differentially predicted by sociodemographic characteristics and HIV status, these findings have implications for tailoring interventions to the needs of different subgroups of YBMSM. Also, disempowering or risky sexual situations and relationships among YBMSM must be addressed.


Young Black men who have sex with men HIV Protective factors Risk factors Latent profile analysis 



This research was supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH096690). Dr. Vincent was also supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (K23 MH111402). Dr. Storholm was supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (R03DA042660). The authors would like to thank Anne Freeman, Douglas Sheehan, and Stephen Brown from the University of Texas Southwestern; and Jan Risser and Paige Padgett from the University of Texas, Houston.


This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH096690).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

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.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilson Vincent
    • 1
    Email author
  • John L. Peterson
    • 2
  • Erik D. Storholm
    • 3
  • David M. Huebner
    • 4
  • Torsten B. Neilands
    • 1
  • Sarah K. Calabrese
    • 4
  • Gregory M. Rebchook
    • 1
  • Judy Y. Tan
    • 1
  • Lance Pollack
    • 1
  • Susan M. Kegeles
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  4. 4.George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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