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The Role of Venues in Structuring HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Risk Networks among Men Who Have Sex with Men

Citation

Drumright, Lydia N.; Weir, Sharon S.; & Frost, Simon D. W. (2018). The Role of Venues in Structuring HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Risk Networks among Men Who Have Sex with Men. BMC Public Health, 18, 225. PMCID: PMC5803997

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Venues form part of the sampling frame for time-location sampling, an approach often used for HIV surveillance. While sampling location is often regarded as a nuisance factor, venues may play a central role in structuring risk networks. We investigated individual reports of risk behaviors and infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) attending different venues to examine structuring of HIV risk behaviors. However, teasing apart 'risky people' from 'risky places' is difficult, as individuals cannot be randomized to attend different venues. However, we can emulate this statistically using marginal structural models, which inversely weight individuals according to their estimated probability of attending the venue.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 609 MSM patrons of 14 bars in San Diego, California, recruited using the Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) methodology, which consists of a multi-level identification and assessment of venues for HIV risk through population surveys.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Venues differed by many factors, including participants' reported age, ethnicity, number of lifetime male partners, past sexually transmitted infection (STI), and HIV status. In multivariable marginal structural models, venues demonstrated structuring of HIV+ status, past STI, and methamphetamine use, independently of individual-level characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS: Studies using time-location sampling should consider venue as an important covariate, and the use of marginal structural models may help to identify risky venues. This may assist in widespread, economically feasible and sustainable targeted surveillance and prevention. A more mechanistic understanding of how 'risky venues' emerge and structure risk is needed.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5140-3

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2018

Journal Title

BMC Public Health

Author(s)

Drumright, Lydia N.
Weir, Sharon S.
Frost, Simon D. W.

PMCID

PMC5803997