Journal Articles

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Sexually Transmitted Infections


OBJECTIVES: Young sexual minority men (SMM) exhibit a high prevalence and incidence of high-risk genotypes of human papillomavirus (hrHPV) anal infections and a confluence of a high prevalence of HIV and rectal STIs. Social determinants of health (SDOHs) are linked to social network contexts that generate and maintain racial disparities in HIV and STIs. A network perspective was provided to advance our knowledge of drivers of genotype-specific hrHPV infection and coinfection with HIV. The study also examined whether socially connected men are infected with the same high-risk HPV genotypes and, if so, whether this tendency is conditioned on coinfection with HIV.

METHODS: Our sample included 136 young SMM of predominantly black race and their network members of other races and ethnicities, aged 18-29 years, who resided in Houston, Texas, USA. These participants were recruited during 2014-2016 at the baseline recruitment period by network-based peer referral, where anal exfoliated cells and named social and sexual partners were collected. Exponential random graph models were estimated to assess similarity in genotype-specific hrHPV anal infection in social connections and coinfection with HIV in consideration of the effects of similarity in sociodemographic, sexual behavioural characteristics, SDOHs and syphilis infection.

RESULTS: Pairs of men socially connected to each other tend to be infected with the same hrHPV genotypes of HPV-16, HPV-45 and HPV-51 or HPV-16 and/or HPV-18. The tendency of social connections between pairs of men who were infected with either HPV-16 or HPV-18 were conditioned on HIV infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Networked patterns of hrHPV infection could be amenable to network-based HPV prevention interventions that engage young SMM of predominantly racial minority groups who are out of HIV care and vulnerable to high-risk HPV acquisition.


Male, Humans, Coinfection, HIV Infections, Papillomavirus Infections, Homosexuality, Male, Cross-Sectional Studies, Sexual and Gender Minorities, Papillomaviridae, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Anal Canal, Human papillomavirus 16, Anus Diseases, Human papillomavirus 18, Social Networking, Prevalence



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