Spatial bridging in a network of drug-using male sex workers

Mark L. Williams, John Atkinson, Alden Klovdahl, Michael W. Ross, Sandra Timpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study sought to determine whether drug-using male sex workers (MSWs) spatially bridge sexual networks across cities and to determine whether the behaviors of MSWs who bridge differ from the behaviors of those who do not. Data were collected from 42 MSWs in Houston, Texas, between May 2003 and February 2004. Spatial bridging was defined as having traded sex for money in another city before traveling to and trading in Houston. Cities bridged by MSWs were geographically plotted and were primarily located in the Gulf Coast and in Florida. Slightly less than half of MSWs were identified as spatially bridging from one city to another. A significantly higher proportion of MSWs who bridged cities were homosexual (55% vs. 23%) and HIV positive (31% vs. 5%). Those who bridged cities used marijuana and infected drugs more frequently and had significantly more male sex partners than MSWs who did not bridge cities. Despite the small sample size, this study found that many drug-using MSWs spatially bridge sexual networks in cities where they trade sex for money.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i35-i42
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA10205).


  • Drug Use
  • HIV/STDs
  • Male Sex Workers
  • Sexual Networks


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