Network Centrality and Geographical Concentration of Social and Service Venues that Serve Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

Fujimoto, K.; Turner, R.; Kuhns, L. M.; Kim, J. Y.; Zhao, J.; Schneider, J. A.

AIDS Behav. 2017 Feb 22; 21(12):3578-3589

Abstract

This study examines network centrality of inter-venue networks formed by collaboration, competition, and sponsorship relationships among venues that serve young men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 16-29 years in relation to their geographical concentrations in Chicago, Illinois, and Houston, Texas. Our data on the physical venues comprised 116 venues in Chicago and 102 venues in Houston. We examined the relationship between the network centrality of different relations and the geographical intensity among these venues, and considered neighborhood-level socioeconomic determinants of health. The results indicate that young MSM-serving social and service venues found in close physical proximity to one another tend to have large centrality indegree values based on competition in both cities, and based on collaboration only in Chicago. No evidence, however, was found that occupying a central position in the sponsorship networks was related to geographic concentration. Combined, these results suggest that HIV prevention interventions should consider the organizing force for competition. Such a strategy could result in better services. However there may still be potential for overlap and redundancy in services at the expense of under-served regions where proven interventions could have the greatest impact.

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