The relationship between discrimination and high-risk social ties by race/ethnicity: Examining social pathways of HIV risk

Natalie D. Crawford, Sandro Galea, Chandra L. Ford, Carl Latkin, Bruce G. Link, Crystal Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

High-risk social ties portend differences in opportunity for HIV exposures and may contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in HIV transmission. Discrimination may affect the formation of high-risk social ties and has not been explored as a possible explanation for these persistent disparities. Using data from injection and non-injection drug users, we examined the association between the number of high-risk sex and drug ties with discrimination due to race, drug use, and incarceration stratified by race/ethnicity. Negative binomial regression models were used. While blacks had significantly fewer injecting ties than Latinos and whites, blacks who reported racial discrimination compared to blacks who did not, had more sex and injecting ties. Latinos who reported drug use discrimination compared to Latinos who did not also had more sex ties. Latinos and whites who reported drug use discrimination had more injecting ties than Latinos and whites who did not. Discrimination is associated with high-risk social ties among all racial/ethnic groups. But, these data highlight different forms of discrimination within racial/ethnic group are associated with risky social ties. More research is needed to confirm these findings and further explore the association between various forms of discrimination and social ties that may help explain racial/ethnic disparities in HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • HIV risk
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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