Background: Prescription opioid use (POU) among young adults is increasing. This represents a major public health concern due to the increased risks of opioid use misuse and opioid-related overdose. Limited research has examined the POU among young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM), a diverse group experiencing continued increases in HIV incidence over the past decade. Objective: This study aims to examine the prevalence and both the individual and network characteristics of POU among YBMSM. Methods: Data were from a longitudinal cohort study of 16-29 year old YBMSM (N = 514) between 2013 and 2016 in Chicago. Bivariate and multivariable associations were estimated using general estimating equations (GEE). Results: Approximately 4.2% of YBMSM reported POU in the past 12 months with a cumulative incidence rate of 4.1% over the 18-month follow-up period. YBMSM having criminal justice involvements, experiencing violence, or using any illicit drug other than marijuana in the past 12 months were more likely to report POU in the past 12 months. The presence of a mother figure, however, was associated with a decreased risk of POU in the past 12 months, while engaging in condomless anal sex with their named sexual partners was associated with an increased risk of POU in the past 12 months. Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to describe POU among a population-based sample of YBMSM. The high incidence rate of POU among YBMSM is alarming, and it underscores the need for further analysis on POU among this key population.
Keywords: Black; Prescription opioid use; longitudinal analysis; young men who have sex with men (YMSM).