Network Mixing and Network Influences Most Linked to HIV Infection and Risk Behavior in the HIV Epidemic Among Black Men Who Have Sex With Men
ABSTRACT Objectives. We evaluated network mixing and influences by network members upon Black men who have sex with men. Methods. We conducted separate social and sexual network mixing analyses to determine the degree of mixing on risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected anal intercourse [UAI]). We used logistic regression to assess the association between a network "enabler" (would not disapprove of the respondent's behavior) and respondent behavior. Results. Across the sample (n = 1187) network mixing on risk behaviors was more assortative (like with like) in the sexual network (r(sex), 0.37-0.54) than in the social network (r(social), 0.21-0.24). Minimal assortativity (heterogeneous mixing) among HIV-infected men on UAI was evident. Black men who have sex with men reporting a social network enabler were more likely to practice UAI (adjusted odds ratio = 4.06; 95% confidence interval = 1.64, 10.05) a finding not observed in the sexual network (adjusted odds ratio = 1.31; 95% confidence interval = 0.44, 3.91). Conclusions. Different mixing on risk behavior was evident with more disassortativity among social than sexual networks. Enabling effects of social network members may affect risky behavior. Attention to of high-risk populations' social networks is needed for effective and sustained HIV prevention. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 15, 2012: e1-e9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301003).
SourceAvailable from: Nanhua Zhang[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ghanaian men who have sex with men (MSM) have high rates of HIV infection. A first step in designing culturally relevant prevention interventions for MSM in Ghana is to understand the influence that peer social networks have on their attitudes and behaviors. We aimed to examine whether, in a sample of Ghanaian MSM, mean scores on psychosocial variables theorized to influence HIV/STI risk differed between peer social networks and to examine whether these variables were associated with condom use. We conducted a formative, cross-sectional survey with 22 peer social networks of MSM (n=137) in Ghana. We assessed basic psychological-needs satisfaction, HIV/STI knowledge, sense of community, HIV and gender non-conformity stigmas, gender equitable norms, sexual behavior and condom use. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance, generalized estimating equations, and Wilcoxon two sample tests. All models were adjusted for age and income, ethnicity, education, housing and community of residence. Mean scores for all psychosocial variables differed significantly by social network. Men who reported experiencing more autonomy support by their healthcare providers had higher odds of condom use for anal (AOR=3.29, p<0.01), oral (AOR=5.06, p<0.01) and vaginal (AOR=1.8, p<0.05) sex. Those with a stronger sense of community also had higher odds of condom use for anal sex (AOR=1.26, p<0.001). Compared to networks with low prevalence of consistent condom users, networks with higher prevalence of consistent condom users had higher STD and HIV knowledge, had norms that were more supportive of gender equity, and experienced more autonomy support in their healthcare encounters. Healthcare providers and peer social networks can have an important influence on safer-sex behaviors in Ghanaian MSM. More research with Ghanaian MSM is needed that considers knowledge, attitudes, and norms of their social networks in the development and implementation of culturally relevant HIV/STI prevention intervention strategies.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 10(1). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115504 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives Relationship dynamics influence the perception of HIV risk in sexual dyads. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of relational dynamics on knowledge or perception of a partner's HIV status in a sample of most at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM): drug-using male sex workers. The study identified relationship dimensions and examined their association with misperceptions about a particular partner's HIV status. Methods The analytical sample for the study consisted of 168 sexual partnerships of 116 male sex workers and their associates. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify dimensions of the interpersonal relationships in sexual partnerships that were then regressed on ‘risky misperceptions’ (misperceiving HIV negative when partner's self-report was positive or unknown). Results Six relationship dimensions of intimate, commitment, socialising, financial, trust and honesty were extracted. Commitment was found to be protective against misperception (adjusted OR (AOR)=0.45), while trust was not (AOR=2.78). Other factors also were found to be associated with misperception. HIV-negative MSM (AOR=7.69) and partners who were both self-identified as gay (AOR=3.57) were associated with misperception, while encounters identified as sex work (AOR=0.29), in which both partners were Caucasian (AOR=0.16), and involved with an older partner (AOR=0.90) were protective. Conclusions Couple-based HIV intervention efforts among MSM should consider that less trust and more commitment are protective factors in sexual partnerships.Sexually Transmitted Infections 10/2014; 91(2). DOI:10.1136/sextrans-2014-051742 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We investigated the structural characteristics of a multiplex HIV transmission risk network of drug-using male sex workers and their associates. Using a sample of 387 drug-using male sex workers and their male and female associates in Houston, Texas, we estimated an exponential random graph model to examine the venue-mediated relationships between individuals, the structural characteristics of relationships not linked to social venues, and homophily. We collected data in 2003 to 2004. The network comprised social, sexual, and drug-using relationships and affiliations with social venues. Individuals affiliated with the same social venues, bars, or street intersections were more likely to have nonreciprocated (weak) ties with others. Sex workers were less likely than were other associates to have reciprocated (strong) ties to other sex workers with the same venues. Individuals tended to have reciprocated ties not linked to venues. Partner choice tended to be predicated on homophily. Social venues may provide a milieu for forming weak ties in HIV transmission risk networks centered on male sex workers, which may foster the efficient diffusion of prevention messages as diverse information is obtained and information redundancy is avoided. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 16, 2015: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302474).American Journal of Public Health 04/2015; DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302474 · 4.23 Impact Factor