A Longitudinal Examination of Factors Associated with Network Bridging Among YMSM: Implications for HIV Prevention

AIDS Behav. 2019 May;23(5):1326-1338. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2258-3.


Social-environmental factors may be associated with social network stability, which has implications for HIV acquisition. However, the link between social-environmental factors, network composition and HIV risk has not been examined previously among a city-population based sample of young Black men who have sex with Men (YBMSM). Respondent driven sampling was used to recruit a cohort of 618 YMBSM. Respondents were evaluated at baseline, 9 and 18 months beginning June 2013. A logistic regression model was used to assess the relationship between bridging (i.e. having non-redundant contacts in one's network, indicating network instability) and social-environmental factors and HIV risk factors between respondents, and a conditional logit model was used to assess these relationships within respondents over time. Bridging was associated with adverse social-environmental factors and higher HIV risk, indicating that bridging may be on the explanatory pathway. Future studies should assess the extent to which network stability factors mitigate HIV risk.

Keywords: African-American; HIV/AIDS; Longitudinal analysis; Men who have sex with men; Resilience; Social network analysis; Structural factors; Youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Networking*
  • Young Adult