Sex marks the spot: Spatial variation of HIV risk and preventionbehaviors among men who have sex with men

by Adam Stephen Vaughan

Institution: Emory University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Epidemiology; Public health; spatial epidemiology; HIV; men who have sex with men; activity spaces
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2106956
Full text PDF: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rngc1


Place is critical to our understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. However, within the scientific literature, place is typically represented by residential location, suggesting a fundamental assumption of equivalency between residential neighborhood, place of risk, and place of prevention. The concept of activity spaces, defined as a set of locations to which an individual is routinely exposed, seeks to address this imbalance. In the first study, we examined the completeness and reliability of detailed location data collected from an online sample of MSM. Using an online map tool, participants were generally willing and able to provide accurate data regarding home and non-residential locations. This tool may be used in more nuanced studies of place and behaviors of MSM. In the second study, we used latent class analysis to develop a measure of activity spaces and examined correlates of that measure. Classes were distinguished by the degree of spatial variation in routine and prevention behaviors (which were the same within each class) and in potential sexual risk behaviors (i.e., sex locations and locations of meeting sex partners). Reporting any casual sex partners represented a key correlate of activity space. These patterns of spatial behavior illustrate significant spatial variation in locations of routine, potential HIV sexual risk, and HIV prevention behaviors among MSM. In the third study, we explored associations between activity spaces and two HIV-related behaviors (recent HIV testing and unprotected anal intercourse) among MSM and examined differences in these associations by residential poverty. We found meaningful and significant differences in both behaviors by activity spaces among men living in high poverty areas, but not among men living in low poverty areas. Our findings reinforce the importance of incorporating activity spaces into contextual studies of HIV among MSM. They suggest the need for interventions targeted using more than residential locations, requiring behavioral and disease surveillance systems to collect additional place-based data. Future work should continue to explore the determinants of activity spaces and their relationships to HIV-related behaviors among MSM. Chapter 1. Background and Significance 1  – HIV Prevalence and Incidence in the United States 1  – HIV among MSM 2  – Theories and Conceptual Frameworks 3  – Associations between Place and Individual HIV-related Behaviors 5  – Limitations of Place-Based Studies of HIV 9  – Spatial Polygamy and Activity Spaces 11  – Specific Dissertation Aims 17  – Structure of this Dissertation 18  – Chapter 2. Data Sources 19  – Sex Marks the Spot Study 19  – Area-Level Data 24  – Chapter 3. Completeness and reliability of location data collected online: Assessing the quality of self-reported locations in an internet sample of MSM 25  – Abstract 25  – Publication 26  – Introduction 27  – Methods 29  – Results 36  – Discussion 44  – Chapter 4. Measuring activity spaces:… Advisors/Committee Members: Cooper, Hannah (Committee Member), Kramer, Michael R (Committee Member), Rosenberg, Eli S (Committee Member), Sullivan, Patrick S (Thesis Advisor).