The Role of Networks in Racial Disparities in HIV Incidence Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States

Abstract [from journal]

Network factors have been proposed as potential drivers of racial disparities in HIV among Black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM). This review aimed to synthesize the extant literature on networks and racial disparities in HIV among MSM and identify potential directions for future research. We searched databases for peer-reviewed articles published between January 1, 2008 and July 1, 2018. Articles were included if the sample was comprised primarily of racial/ethnic minority MSM and measured one or more network characteristics. (n = 25). HIV prevalence in networks, social support, and structural barriers were linked to disparities in HIV for Black MSM. Future research should focus on intervention development around social support and other strategies for risk reduction within networks. Given the contribution of structural factors to racial/ethnic HIV disparities, network-level interventions should be paired with policies that improve access to housing, jobs, and education for MSM.