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Soc Sci Med. 2014 Mar;104:6-14. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.12.002. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

"I didn't think I could get out of the fucking park." Gay men's retrospective accounts of neighborhood space, emerging sexuality and migrations.

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Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, United States; Columbia University, United States. Electronic address:
University of Pittsburgh, United States.
Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, United States; Columbia University, United States.
Columbia University, United States.
New York University, United States.
Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, United States.


Young, African American and Latino gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately represented among new HIV cases according to the most recent national surveillance statistics. Analysts have noted that these racial/ethnic disparities in HIV among MSM exist within the wider context of sexual, mental and physical health disparities between MSM and heterosexuals. The intercorrelation of these adverse health outcomes among MSM, termed syndemics, has been theorized to be socially produced by a heterosexist social system that marginalizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, MSM and other sexual minorities. African American and Latino MSM experience overlapping systems of oppression that may increase their risk of experiencing syndemic health outcomes. In this paper, using data from twenty in-depth qualitative interviews with MSM living in four New York City (NYC) neighborhoods, we present accounts of neighborhood space, examining how space can both physically constitute and reinforce social systems of stratification and oppression, which in turn produce social disparities in sexual health outcomes. By analyzing accounts of emerging sexuality in neighborhood space, i.e. across time and space, we identify pathways to risk and contribute to our understanding of how neighborhood space is experienced by gay men, adding to our ability to support young men as they emerge in place and to shape the social topography of urban areas.


HIV risk; MSM; Neighborhoods; Sexuality; Space; United States

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