Sexual, Social, and Genetic Network Overlap: A Socio-Molecular Approach Toward Public Health Intervention of HIV


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

ObjectivesTo determine how network-level factors influence individual risk of HIV acquisition, which is key in preventing disease transmission.MethodsWe recruited a cohort of young Black men who have sex with men (n = 618) in Chicago, Illinois, from 2013 to 2016. We identified potential molecular ties via pairwise genetic distance analysis of HIV pol sequences with links inferred between individuals whose sequences were 1.5% or less genetically distant. We defined clusters as 1 or more connections to another individual. We conducted entity resolution between confidant, sexual, referral, and Facebook network data between network types.ResultsOf 266 (43.0%) participants identified as HIV-positive, we obtained 86 (32.3%) genetic sequences. Of these, 35 (40.7%) were linked to 1 or more other sequence; however, none of these were identified in first-, second-, or third-degree confidant and sexual networks. Minimal overlap existed between genetic and Facebook ties.ConclusionsThese results suggest that HIV transmissions may have occurred before elicitation of network data; future studies should expand the data collection timeframe to more accurately determine risk networks. Virtual network data, such as Facebook, may be particularly useful in developing one’s risk environment.

    loading  Loading Related Articles