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AIDS Behav. 2017 Mar;21(3):870-890. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1596-2.

Associations Among Neighborhood Characteristics and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Black and White MSM Living in a Major Urban Area.

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Department of Community Health and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, City University of New York, 160 Convent Avenue, 404A Harris Hall, New York, NY, 10031, USA.
Laboratory of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New York Blood Center, New York, NY, USA.
Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention, New York Blood Center, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
New York University College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
Laboratory of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New York Blood Center, New York, NY, USA.


Identifying neighborhood characteristics associated with sexual HIV risk behavior among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) living in urban areas may inform the development of policies and programs to reduce risk and subsequently HIV prevalence in urban areas. New York City M2M was a cross-sectional study designed to identify neighborhood-level characteristics associated with sexual risk behaviors among MSM living in New York City. This paper presents results of an analysis of neighborhood-level indicators of three distinct social theories of influence of the neighborhood environment on human behavior: physical disorder, social disorganization and social norms theories. Using multilevel modeling on a sample of 766 MSM stratified by race/ethnicity, we found little support for the role of social disorganization on the sexual risk behavior of MSM, whereas different indicators of physical disorder exerted negative effects across race groups. Our results suggest that the beneficial effects of housing stock maintenance and general neighborhood physical orderliness and cleanliness may have positive effects beyond those traditionally studied for African American MSM and that the field needs novel theorizing regarding whether and how neighborhood or virtual community-level factors relate to sexual behavior among MSM.


Condomless anal intercourse; HIV risk; Neighborhood environment

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