Social and sexual networks of racially/ethnically diverse YMSM

Abstract:

The purpose of this pilot study is to understand the influence of social network-level factors on sexual- and drug use-related risk behaviors associated with sexually transmitted infection(STIs) (including N. Gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia T., and HIV) among Black, Latino and White young men who have sex with men (YMSM).  The growing epidemic of these sexually transmitted infections among YMSM combined with the persistence of stark racial/ethnic disparities in STIs within this population underscores the need for novel research examining the interactions between broader cultural and social dynamics with the structure and characteristics of the social networks of YMSM.  Given the paucity of empirical research on the relationship between these contextual influences and individual level sexual- and drug use -related risk behaviors as well as STI rates, the specific aims of this exploratory, pilot study are to (1) explore the relationship between social network structural characteristics and normative influences with sexual- and drug use-related risk behaviors among Black, Latino and White YMSM; and (2) examine the relationship between social network structural characteristics and N. Gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia T., and HIV outcomes  among Black, Latino and White YMSM.