Social Network Predictors of Disclosure of MSM Behavior and HIV-Positive Serostatus Among African American MSM in Baltimore, Maryland

Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 08/2011; 16(3):535-42. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-011-0014-z
Source: PubMed


This study examined correlates of disclosure of MSM behavior and seropositive HIV status to social network members among 187 African American MSM in Baltimore, MD. 49.7% of participants were HIV-positive, 64% of their social network members (excluding male sex partners) were aware of their MSM behavior, and 71.3% were aware of their HIV-positive status. Disclosure of MSM behavior to network members was more frequent among participants who were younger, had a higher level of education, and were HIV-positive. Attributes of the social network members associated with MSM disclosure included the network member being HIV-positive, providing emotional support, socializing with the participant, and not being a female sex partner. Participants who were younger were more likely to disclose their positive HIV status. Attributes of social network members associated with disclosure of positive serostatus included the network member being older, HIV-positive, providing emotional support, loaning money, and not being a male sex partner.

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    • "Additionally , there is preliminary evidence that the selection of a sexual partner who is not also a social network member (i.e., low multiplexity) is protective against STI infection (Ellen et al., 2006). Further research is needed to understand this dynamic, but two possible mechanisms are that: (1) multiplex sexual/social relationships may lead to changes in the sexual network structure and thereby increase the speed at which STI infection may spread; or (2) like findings around reduced condom use with serious partners; multiplex social/sexual partners may be viewed as lower risk (i.e., ''known partners are safe partners) (Latkin et al., 2012). Another finding is that in addition to sexual network structure, the structure of the social network may also be important. "
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