Yen-Tyng Chen (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Chicago Center of HIV Elimination, University of Chicago

Friday March 9th from 10:30a – noon
CDPH Boardroom, Level 2 of the DePaul Center
1 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604


Objective: Young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are the only group where HIV incidence has increased in the United States. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective prevention intervention to prevent HIV acquisition when taken regularly. The higher rates of infection among YBMSM are due to others with HIV combined with structural barriers that limit HIV prevention and care. This study aimed to examine the relationship of place and network characteristics with PrEP awareness among YBMSM.

Methods: We used data collected from a sample of 618 YBMSM in the South Side of Chicago (2013- 2014). Participants reported information on network members including where they live. Administrative data were used to describe the places where participants and their network members resided. Multilevel models were used to assess the relationships of place-level and network characteristics with PrEP awareness.

Results: Higher place-level college degree, owner occupied residence, violent crime rate, and greater access to MSM serving venues were associated with greater PrEP awareness; greater place-level access to alcohol outlets and higher percentage of continuity residence were associated with less PrEP awareness. Sexual network members residing in the same community area as the participants were associated with greater PrEP awareness. The effect of place-level access to MSM serving venues on PrEP awareness was marginally modified by percentage of main sexual partners.

Conclusions: The results suggest that place and network characteristics are influential for disseminating PrEP messages. Additional studies are needed to understand the influences of structural environments and network characteristics on dissemination of PrEP information, uptake, and adherence.