Bars and street corners are ideal venues for broad dissemination of HIV prevention information among drug-using male sex workers and other at-risk populations, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The research was published today in the American Journal of Public Health.
UTHealth researchers surveyed 387 drug-using male sex workers and their associates in the Montrose area of Houston from 2003 to 2004. They were interviewed about their social networks, including fellow drug-users, sexual partners and venues in which they spent time.
Twenty percent of participants in the study reported that they were HIV-positive. According to Kayo Fujimoto, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor at the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at UTHealth School of Public Health, street-based male sex workers and their associates typically have high rates of risky sexual behavior and substance use, including injecting intravenous drugs.
Most participants named certain bars and street corners as the locations where they meet with sexual partners, drug-using associates, friends and acquaintances. These venues may provide a social environment for forming weak ties among casual acquaintances, said Fujimoto. Weak ties can contribute to the efficient diffusion of HIV prevention messages to a broader group of people.
Additionally, the study reported that individuals choose their sexual/drug-using partners based on similarity in HIV-positive status, age, race/ethnicity, homelessness, bisexual orientation, the number of casual sex partners and protective sex behavior.
“This phenomenon, called ‘homophily’, happens because its network members seek out associates with the same belief or practice,” said Fujimoto. “The study findings support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s network intervention strategies for HIV testing, prevention and engagement in care.”
According to Fujimoto and co-authors, HIV intervention strategies would be more beneficial if multiple characteristics were considered to identify at-risk individuals, rather than a single factor.
“The research exhibits the complexity of the social networks that surround at-risk HIV communities, and reaching HIV-positive individuals and at-risk populations requires more than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach,” said Fujimoto.
Michael Ross, M.D., Ph.D., adjunct professor in the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the School of Public Health, was a co-investigator in the study.
This study used data collected by a social network project funded by the National Institutes of Health/NIDA R01DA015025, and was partially supported by the grant NIH/NIMH 1R01MH100021. For more information, the study is accessible at https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302474.
Harris Health System@harrishealth
@MarilynMaddness Hi, Marilyn: I’m sorry that you are experiencing difficulty with your husband’s care. Please contact our Patient Relations Department @ 713-873-3939 to raise your concerns. We hope it gets resolved to your family’s satisfaction, so your husband is OK.
Veterans share stories with students at Baldwin elementary school https://t.co/GGWuJELKv2 via @PittsburghPG
In a first-of-its-kind study, single-agent tremelimumab was found to boost antitumor activity in some #bladdercancer patients, according to our Dr. Padmanee Sharma: https://t.co/3YGNrSwERH @medpagetoday #endcancer
Halloween was a couple of months ago, but the vampire cough can still help stop the spread of the flu. Visit our Flu Central for more tips: https://t.co/dsFpjvWynt #flu #NIVW https://t.co/CV4NsiiEcJ
@KPRC2 @astros Love this! And love our @Astros!
#Thyroidcancer diagnoses have tripled in the past 30 years. Our @MarkZafereoMD explains what women should know: https://t.co/G0DpLz3xox @health_magazine #womenshealth #endcancer
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UHCougars: 🗣 𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅!@UHouston students, you may claim up to ✌️ tickets for these upcoming @UHCougarMBK games! ⤵️ https://t.c…
With seemingly endless to-do lists and holiday parties laden with junk food, this season leaves many feeling stressed and unhealthy. Here are tips to maintain your health: https://t.co/o9awK8uUgM.
'Unbelievably moving': Special Honor Flight sends Veterans with dementia, terminal illness to D.C. https://t.co/gxzob1zHZX via @WISCTV_News3
We’ve decked our halls for our annual wreath auction, featuring hundreds of beautiful wreaths designed by our employees. All proceeds benefit our patients.Place your bids by noon on Friday, Dec. 13: https://t.co/fianawcBnY #endcancer https://t.co/ksWbR07Oxg
A Memorable Match Day at Texas Heart Institute - We are excited to welcome the six cardiologists who will be joining our Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship program in July 2020! https://t.co/VTgPRh3yVF https://t.co/lyobXbgrOI
Childrens Lighthouse of The Woodlands is hosting their Atypical Teratoid Rapdboid Tumor Fundraiser on Monday, December 9 at Chick-fil-A (25630 Kuykendahl Road), benefiting children in the oncology ward at @TexasChildrens. Learn more via @WoodlandsOnline: https://t.co/0jR5LaLGlw https://t.co/vIfTcvNPCY
RT @BCMHouston_News: Be sure to watch @FOX26Houston tonight at 10:30pm! Dr. Atif Iqbal @AtifIqbalMD, a surgeon with @bcmhouston and Baylor…
VA MISSION Act: Answers to questions about VA’s urgent care benefit https://t.co/L31AO9PngM via #VAntagePoint
Delivered at 34 weeks, Dane was born with a large omphalocele. @TXMedCenter shares how @TexasChildrens music therapist, Alix Brickley, has recorded Dane’s heartbeat to create an original song for his family: https://t.co/9REJ7nblPO