Date of Conferral
The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be a challenge in the men who have sex with men (MSM) population. Initiatives to decrease rates of new HIV infections have proven less than optimal. Despite evidence-based interventions to curtail the prevalence and incidence rates of HIV infection, Black MSM have been most impacted with increased HIV incidence. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to explore the relationship, if any, between age, online and physical venues attended by participants within the last thirty days, neighborhood's perceived social environment, and HIV incidence in the non-Hispanic Black MSM population in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in Southern U.S. Social cognitive theory was used to frame this study. Secondary datasets from the Involve[MEN]t database were used in this study and included 810 Black and White MSM living in a MSA. Ages of the participants ranged between 18 and 39. Original data were collected through online questionnaires. Chi-square, independent samples t test, and logistic regression model were used to analyze data. Chi-square analysis showed a significant main effect (p = 0.006) for online venue Facebook and HIV incidence but no significance differences identified between age, online venues CraigsList and Black Gay Chat, physical venues (including bars and restaurants, gyms, and bath houses), and neighborhood's perceived social environment (including neighborhood attachment, self-esteem/morale, and personal safety). Positive social implications of the study findings could include tailoring existing interventions with strategies to address self-esteem and morale, explore selected online and physical venues, and develop social and behavioral structured policies in the Black MSM population.