Associations between social support network characteristics and sexual risk among racially/ethnically diverse young men who have sex with men (YMSM) were examined using egocentric network data from a prospective cohort study of YMSM (n = 501) recruited in New York City. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses examined associations between social support network characteristics and sexual risk taking behaviors in Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White YMSM. Bivariate analyses indicated key differences in network size, composition, communication frequency and average relationship duration by race/ethnicity. In multivariable analyses, controlling for individual level sociodemographic, psychosocial and relationship factors, having a sexual partner in one's social support network was associated with unprotected sexual behavior for both Hispanic/Latino (AOR = 3.90) and White YMSM (AOR = 4.93). Further examination of key network characteristics across racial/ethnic groups are warranted in order to better understand the extant mechanisms for provision of HIV prevention programming to racially/ethnically diverse YMSM at risk for HIV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases
- Social networks