Background Social network analysis is a useful method to assess infectious disease transmission and the amount, type, and sources of social support. The current study compared social network characteristics of African American men who were HIV positive to those who were negative
Methods Study participants were 229 African American men who have sex with men (MSM) who completed a baseline social network assessment for a pilot intervention in Baltimore, Maryland.
Results Almost half (48%) were HIV positive. Using multiple logistic regression modelling, statistically significant network differences (p < 0.05) were found between HIV positive and negative in the number of kin and non-kin who were aware of that they were MSM, injection drug users, network members who use the internet to find sex partners, mean trust in network members, and network members who were full-time students.
Discussion These findings suggest that although there are many similarities between the networks of HIV positive and negative African American MSM, differences do exist in the social and sexual network characteristics. A larger number of HIV positives as compared to negatives know about their same sex behaviour, which may be utilised for providing support; however, positive have more injectors in their network, which could lead to greater HIV transmission.
- men who have sex with men
- Social networks
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