Network overlap and knowledge of a partner's HIV status among young men who have sex with men

Mayumi Imahashi, Kayo Fujimoto, Lisa M Kuhns, Muhammad Amith, John A Schneider
AIDS Care 2019 April 1, : 1-7
For individuals living with HIV, disclosure of HIV status to their partners can be a source of psychological and emotional stress. Minimal information about serostatus disclosure is available for young men who have sex with men (YMSM). This study examined the disclosure of HIV status to social and sexual partners among YMSM using social and sexual network data. Respondent-driven sampling was used to collect data from YMSM aged 16-29 in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. Social network data from 746 respondents and 2035 social and/or sexual partners were collected from 2014 to 2016, of whom 27.9% were HIV seropositive, with 9.4% of their partners being both sexually and socially connected to respondents (overlapping network status), and 90.6% either sexually or socially connected. Generalized estimating equation analysis was conducted based on respondents' knowledge of their sexual partners' HIV status. Results showed that respondents with overlapping sexual and social relationships with their partners were less likely to not know their partners' HIV status (AOR = 0.26 95% CI: 0.18-0.40). Results highlight the association between overlapping partnership and knowledge of partner's HIV status among YMSM. These findings are useful when selecting potential network members to disclose HIV status and support YMSM's health and well-being.

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