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

Victoria Frye, Vijay Nandi, James E. Egan, Magdalena Cerda, Andrew Rundle, James W. Quinn, Daniel Sheehan, Danielle C. Ompad, Hong van Tieu, Emily Greene, Beryl Koblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-890
Number of pages21
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Condomless anal intercourse
  • HIV risk
  • Neighborhood environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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