Collecting Mobility Data with GPS Methods to Understand the HIV Environmental Riskscape Among Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Multi-city Feasibility Study in the Deep South

AIDS Behav. 2018 Sep;22(9):3057-3070. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2163-9.


While research increasingly studies how neighborhood contexts influence HIV among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) populations, to date, no research has used global positioning system (GPS) devices, an innovative method to study spatial mobility through neighborhood contexts, i.e., the environmental riskscape, among a sample of Black MSM. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of collecting two-week GPS data (as measured by a pre- and post-surveys as well as objectively measured adherence to GPS protocol) among a geographically-diverse sample of Black MSM in the Deep South: Gulfport, MS, Jackson, MS, and New Orleans LA (n = 75). GPS feasibility was demonstrated including from survey items, e.g. Black MSM reported high ratings of pre-protocol acceptability, ease of use, and low levels of wear-related concerns. Findings from this study demonstrate that using GPS methods is acceptable and feasible among Black MSM in the Deep South.

Keywords: Environmental contexts; Feasibility; Gay and bisexual men’s health; Global positioning system (GPS); HIV; Men who have sex with men (MSM); Neighborhoods; Sexual risk behaviors; Spatial epidemiology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People*
  • Black or African American
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mississippi
  • New Orleans
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Environment*
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology
  • Young Adult