The geographic distribution of sexually transmitted infections reflects the underlying social process of sexual partner selection. This qualitative study explored the social geography of partner selection among sexual minority men and used the results to develop a mid-range theory of STI transmission. In-depth interviews with 31 sexual minority men who lived, worked, or socialized in Toronto, Canada, occurred in June and July 2016. Participants were asked how they found sexual partners and reconstructed their egocentric sexual networks for the previous 3 months. Participants described an iterative process of partner selection involving intention (sex versus dating), connecting with community, and selecting a partner based on intersecting partner characteristics (external, internal, and emergent feelings when interacting with potential partners) and personal preferences. Geography influenced partner selection three ways: (1) participant search patterns maximized the number of potential partners in the shortest distance possible; (2) the density of sexual minority men in a participant's community directly impacted participant's social and sexual isolations; and (3) geosexual isolation influenced sexual mixing patterns. Participants described "convection mixing," where assortative urban mixing nested within disassortative suburban mixing resulted in movement from the suburbs to downtown and back to the suburbs. We theorize that convection mixing may be contributing to the persistence of STI epidemics in core and outbreak areas by creating STI reservoirs outside of, and connected to, core and outbreak areas.
Keywords: Geosexual isolation; Partner selection; Sexual minority men; Sexual mixing patterns; Sexual orientation; Social geography.
Conceptualizing Geosexual Archetypes: Mapping the Sexual Travels and Egocentric Sexual Networks of Gay and Bisexual Men in Toronto, CanadaD Gesink et al. Sex Transm Dis 45 (6), 368-373. PMID 29465690.Prioritizing interventions to hosters, rovers, and geoflexibles may have an important impact on reducing STI transmission.
Disassortative Sexual Mixing Among Migrant Populations in The Netherlands: A Potential for HIV/STI Transmission?MG van Veen et al. AIDS Care 21 (6), 683-91. PMID 19806484.To gain insight into the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) among large migrant groups in The Netherlands, we studied the associations between t …
Comparison of Sexual Mixing Patterns for Syphilis in Endemic and Outbreak SettingsIA Doherty et al. Sex Transm Dis 38 (5), 378-84. PMID 21217418.Whether assortative mixing exacerbates or attenuates the reach of STIs into different populations depends on the characteristic/attribute and epidemiologic phase. Examina …
Strategies for Partner Notification for Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIVA Ferreira et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (10), CD002843. PMID 24092529. - ReviewThe evidence assessed in this review does not identify a single optimal strategy for PN for any particular STI. When combining trials of STI causing urethritis or cervici …
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