Examining differences in types and location of recruitment venues for young males and females from urban neighborhoods: findings from a multi-site HIV prevention study

J Urban Health. 2009 Jan;86(1):31-42. doi: 10.1007/s11524-008-9329-0. Epub 2008 Oct 30.


Finding and accessing members of youth subpopulations, such as young men who have sex with men (YMSM) of color or young females of color, for behavioral or disease surveillance or study recruitment, pose particular challenges. Venue-based sampling strategies--which hinge on where individuals congregate or "hang out" rather than where they live--appear to be effective alternatives. Methods used to identify venues focus on engaging members of social networks to learn where targeted populations congregate. However, it is not always clear if and how these methods differ according to gender, whether the youth accessed at a venue are actually from neighborhoods in which the venues are found, and whether the location of venues relative to neighborhoods of residence is different for young men and young women. This study illustrates the gender differences in venue type and venue location where eligible youth study participants from high-risk neighborhoods could be accessed for HIV research across 15 research sites (sites). The findings indicate that the study's method led to identifying venues where one quarter or more of the youth were eligible study participants and from the high-risk neighborhoods. Sites targeting young women of color had a higher proportion of eligible study participants who were also from the high-risk neighborhoods than sites targeting YMSM. Clubs were most commonly identified by sites targeting YMSM as recruitment venues, whereas neighborhood-based service or commercial centers were more common venues for young women of color. This study reveals how venue-based recruitment strategies can be tailored and resources maximized by understanding the key differences in the types of venues preferred by males and females and by recognizing that female-preferred venues are more likely to be closer to home.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*
  • Research Design*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult