Background : There is limited scholarship characterizing and assessing the social and sexual network-related health outcomes of young Black transgender women (TGW) or comparing these outcomes to those of young Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Social network analysis provides a salient method of understanding the dynamics driving the broad spectrum of adverse outcomes seen in these subgroups.
Methods : As part of the uConnect study, we explored the social/sexual health networks of 618 young, Black individuals assigned male at birth who have sex with men, 47 (7.6%) of whom identified as TGW. Utilizing respondent-driven sampling (RDS), data collection occurred over three waves between 2013 and 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. Univariate, logistic regression, and confidant and sexual network analyses were conducted to characterize dynamic network features.
Results : TGW’s sexual networks were significantly less stable (p=0.03) and had greater network turnover (p=0.04). TGW had significantly more sex partners (p=0.0002) and lower rates of employment (p
Conclusions : Utilizing RDS-generated data from a representative sample of younger Black individuals, we found that Black TGW have less sexual network stability in comparison to Black MSM but comparable structural network features. Furthermore, we determined that both groups, and Black TGW especially, possess considerable system-level, socioeconomic, and sexual health burdens.