Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are disproportionately incarcerated in the United States. Incarceration is a barrier to health equity and may be a risk factor for experiences of interpersonal violence. However, the effect of incarceration on experienced violence among BMSM is understudied. We examined associations between recent incarceration on subsequent experiences of race- or sexuality-based violence, intimate partner violence, or community violence. We analyzed data from the HPTN 061 study. Analysis includes data on 1,169 BMSM recruited from 6 U.S. cities who were present at baseline as well as 6- and 12-month follow-up interview. We tested if self-reported incarceration between baseline and 6 months was associated with self-reported outcomes between 6 and 12 months using logistic regression with inverse probability of treatment weighting and multiple imputation methods. Experienced outcomes included violence due to race or sexuality, intimate partner violence and aggression, and community violence (i.e., gang violence, robbery, shooting). Approximately 14% reported incarceration between baseline and 6 months and 90% reported experiencing violence between 6 and 12 months. In adjusted analyses, incarceration was associated with subsequent race- or sexuality-based violence [aOR (adjusted odds ratio) range: 1.25-1.41, 95% CI (confidence interval) range: 1.00-1.74], experiences of physical abuse and aggression from intimate partners (aOR: 2.35; 95% CI: 1.50, 3.70) and community violence (OR 1.82; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.72). Recent incarceration experience increased risk of exposure to future violence in this population. Mixed methods research examining mediating paths between and downstream effects of incarceration and violence on the wellbeing and health of BMSM is needed. We implore researchers to study violence and incarceration among BMSM. Practitioners should implement strategies such as trauma-informed interventions, and policies strengthening the social and economic support needs of Black populations.
Estimating the influence of incarceration on subsequent experience with violence among Black men who have sex with men in the HPTN061 study
Journal of Interpersonal Violence [Epub 2021 Jun 9]. doi: 10.1177/08862605211021970.