Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 2017 10 18() doi 10.1007/s11524-017-0203-9
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent more new HIV infections than all other at-risk populations. Many young black MSM belong to constructed families (i.e., the house ball community, gay families, and pageant families) which are often organized in a family structure with members referred to as parents and children. Many constructed families are associated with a family surname which is informally adopted by members. In some cases, however, constructed families do not identify with a collective family name. In 2014, 553 MSM were recruited through venue-based time-space sampling during the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) in New Orleans to complete a structured survey and HIV test. Black, Latino, and other race MSM were more likely to belong to constructed families in comparison to white MSM. In addition, participants who belonged to constructed families with a family name were more likely to engage in protective behaviors including wearing condoms at last sexual intercourse. Overall, younger, white MSM who did not belong to any social groups were more likely to engage in at least one risk behavior. These findings significantly contribute to understanding variations in HIV risk behavior among members of constructed families.