In the USA, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) incidence rates continue to increase among young gay, bisexual, and other men have sexual intercourse with men. Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) indicate interest in HIV prevention programming that is implemented in the social venues that they frequent when they want to socialize with other men. We sought to understand YMSM venues as a networked space to provide insights into venue-based HIV prevention intervention delivery. The present study used survey data reported by 526 YMSM (ages 18–24) in 2005 to conduct a venue-based social network analysis. The latter sought to determine if the structure and composition of the networks in Los Angeles could be used to facilitate the delivery of HIV prevention messages to YMSM. Degree of person sharing between venues was used to demonstrate interconnectivity between venues classified as low risk (e.g., coffee shops) and high risk (e.g., bars and clubs) by a Community Advisory Board. Sixty-five percent of the 110 venues nominated were bars and clubs. Nearly all YMSM were connected by a single venue and over 87 % were connected by the six most central venues. A handful of highly connected low-risk venues was central to the venue network and connected to popular high-risk venues. Venue-based network analysis can inform tailored HIV prevention messaging for YMSM. Targeted delivery of prevention messaging at low-risk centralized venues may lead to widespread diffusion among venue-attending YMSM.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 25, 2014
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