Network Properties Among Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Vary by Race

  • Meagan ZarwellEmail author
  • William T. Robinson
Original Paper


The HIV burden among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) may be related to variations in network characteristics of the individual’s social and sexual network. This study investigates variations in network properties among 188 Black and 295 White GBM recruited in New Orleans during the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance in 2014. Participants described up to five people who provided social support and five sex partners in the past 3 months. Network properties and network dissimilarity indicators were aggregated to the participant level as means or proportions and examined using PROC GLM. White participants reported larger networks (p = 0.0027), had known network members longer (p = 0.0033), and reported more substance use (p < 0.0001) within networks. Black participants reported networks with fewer men (p = 0.0056) and younger members (p = 0.0110) than those of White GBM. Network properties among GBM differ by race in New Orleans which may inform prevention interventions.


National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men Social and sexual networks HIV prevention 



We thank the NHBS research participants, community partners, and the NOLA Fresh study team for making this research possible.

Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 1U1B TS003252-004 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants P30MH0522776 and T32MH019985 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The authors declare that the findings reported have not been previously published and that the manuscript is not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere. This study was submitted and approved through the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s and Louisiana Department of Health’s Institutional Review Board. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for AIDS Intervention ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.School of Public HealthLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV ProgramNew OrleansUSA

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