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Author Notes:

Email Address: jeremy.grey@emory.edu

Conceived and designed the experiments: PSS ESR. Performed the experiments: PSS ESR. Analyzed the data: JAG ESR RBR.

Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JAG ESR RBR. Wrote the paper: JAG ESR RBR PSS.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Research Funding:

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (RC1MD004370);

National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH085600)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01HD067111)

Disassortative Age-Mixing Does Not Explain Differences in HIV Prevalence between Young White and Black MSM: Findings from Four Studies.


Journal Title:



Volume 10, Number 6


, Pages e0129877-e0129877

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Objective Age disassortativity is one hypothesis for HIV disparities between Black and White MSM. We examined differences in age mixing by race and the effect of partner age difference on the association between race and HIV status. Design We used data from four studies of MSM. Participants reported information about recent sexual partners, including age, race, and sexual behavior. Two studies were online with a US sample and two focused on MSM in Atlanta. Methods We computed concordance correlation coefficients (CCCs) by race across strata of partner type, participant HIV status, condom use, and number of partners. We used Wilcoxon rank-sum tests to compare Black and White MSM on partner age differences across five age groups. Finally, we used logistic regression models using race, age, and partner age difference to determine the odds ratio of HIV-positive serostatus. Results Of 48 CCC comparisons, Black MSM were more age-disassortative than White MSM in only two. Furthermore, of 20 comparisons of median partner age, Black and White MSM differed in two age groups. One indicated larger age gaps among the Black MSM (18-19). Prevalent HIV infection was associated with race and age. Including partner age difference in the model resulted in a 2% change in the relative odds of infection among Black MSM. Conclusions Partner age disassortativity and partner age differences do not differ by race. Partner age difference offers little predictive value in understanding prevalent HIV infection among Black and White MSM, including diagnosis of HIV-positive status among self-reported HIV-negative individuals.

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© 2015 Grey et al.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits distribution of derivative works, making multiple copies, distribution, public display, and publicly performance, provided the original work is properly cited. This license requires copyright and license notices be kept intact, credit be given to copyright holder and/or author.

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